Setting: Military tertiary referral hospital.
Synopsis: Forty-five parents were asked to remember nine risks of adenotonsillectomy, and scores were compared after counseling alone (C), counseling with a handout (CH) and counseling plus a video (CV). Before surgery, parents remembered an average of 6.8, 7.3 and 6.6 risks in the C, CH and CV groups, respectively. After surgery, parents remembered an average of 5.8, 6.5 and 5.2, respectively, with no significant difference between groups. The length of time to surgery was inversely correlated with retention of surgical risks (P=0.02). Despite the fact that there was no significant improvement in parental understanding through use of videos or handouts, 90 percent of the parents felt that these modalities added to their understanding. In addition, these interventions reduced counseling time by 2.9 to 5.4 minutes.
Previous studies have found the use of handouts to improve procedure risk retention, which was not demonstrated here. Limitations include the fact that most of the parents had at least some secondary education and the sample size was small. However, the use of handouts or videos may allow for decreased face-to-face counseling time without reducing parental understanding of surgical risks.