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We read with interest the article by Pager.1 The study showed that a preoperative videotape session describing the experience of day stay cataract surgery resulted in a significant increase in overall satisfaction during the immediate postoperative period.
Patient satisfaction has drawn increasing attentions in all field of medicine for medical, financial, and litigation reasons. Age, types of aphakic correction, information received by patients, ocular co-morbidity, and postoperative visual acuity have been identified as important factors affecting the overall satisfaction in patients undergoing cataract surgery.2 While this study addressed the psychosomatic response in the perioperative period, it would be interesting to know how the videotape session can affect the perception of surgical outcome. It would be even more worthwhile to assess how such a videotape session can modify the patient response to unfavourable outcomes when surgical complications occur. Further information on patient satisfaction in either group during the follow up period would be relevant.
It was shown that the majority of patients could not recall relevant information after verbal consent.3 Remembering the information deteriorated significantly after the operation, even more so in those of an advanced age and with less than high school education.3 Videotape has been used in the informed consent process in other medical fields. Patients having gastrointestinal endoscopy were found to be more satisfied with videotape followed by physician discussion than either method alone.4 It has also been demonstrated to lead to higher knowledge scores, especially in patients with lower education levels.5 Since cataract patients are usually old and come with very high expectations, we think that further research is required to explore the use of videotape in order to achieve a better informed consent.