Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

The impact of iMedConsent on patient decision-making regarding cholecystectomy and inguinal herniorrhaphy.

Hall DE, Hanusa BH, Switzer GE, Fine MJ, Arnold RM. The impact of iMedConsent on patient decision-making regarding cholecystectomy and inguinal herniorrhaphy. The Journal of surgical research. 2012 Jun 15; 175(2):227-33.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: The Veterans Affairs Healthcare System implemented a computer-based tool (iMedConsent) to improve the quality of informed consent in 2004. The impact of this tool on the process of informed consent remains unknown. Our aim was to determine the impact of iMedConsent on patient information preference, anxiety, trust in the surgeon, ambivalence about the surgical decision, and comprehension of procedure-specific risk, benefits, and alternatives. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively enrolled a consecutive cohort of patients presenting to a general surgery clinic for possible cholecystectomy or inguinal herniorrhaphy from October 2009 to August 2010. We administered questionnaires before and after the clinic visit. RESULTS: Seventy-five patients completed pre-visit questionnaires. After evaluation by the surgeon, 42 patients were offered surgery and documented their informed consent using iMedConsent, of whom 38 (90%) also completed a post-visit questionnaire. Among the participants who completed both pre- and post-visit questionnaires, participant comprehension of procedure-specific risks benefits and alternatives improved from 50% at baseline to 60% after the clinic visit (P < 0.001). No differences were noted in ambivalence, trust, or anxiety. After the clinic visit, significantly more patients expressed a preference for participating in decision making with their surgeon (98% versus 71%, P = 0.008). However, significantly fewer expressed a preference for knowing all possible details about their illness (25% to 83%, P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The informed consent process using iMedConsent improves patient comprehension of procedure-specific risks, benefits, and alternatives. It also increases patient preferences for participating more actively in the decision-making process. However, the process may provide more detail than patients want regarding their illness.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.