Remembering Risk Using Visual Risk Display of MINS to Obtain Informed Consent to Undergo Elective Surgery

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Queen's University
Updated on 3 October 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


Disclosure of anticipated risks to individuals considering undergoing an elective operative procedure is an important aspect of informed consent process. Recent Canadian Guidelines have highlighted the importance of perioperative risk discussion within the context of preoperative assessment but there is little prior research into potential interventions to optimize the communication of risks.

Myocaridal injury (MINS) is the most common complication and this study is focused on determining the effectiveness of current communication strategies in our presurgical consultations and to quantifying the impact of introducing a visual aid and scripted risk discussions has on patients ability to recall their individualized perioperative risk of myocardial injury.


Informed consent is an important aspect of the patient-physician relationship. Prior to agreeing to undergo treatment patients must have risks and benefits disclosed to a "reasonable patient" standard.1 The 2016 Canadian Cardiovascular Society Guidelines on Perioperative Cardiac Risk Assessment made strong recommendations emphasizing the need for clear communication of perioperative cardiac risk to patients.2 Myocardial injury is the most common post-operative complications and has significant impact on patient outcomes including survival.2. However, very few studies have examined the communication of risk to patients, particularly when communicating perioperative cardiac risk.

The aim of this study is to formally evaluate the effectiveness of perioperative risk communication and examine if the introduction of visual aids can improve communication and preoperative patient education. During this study, all patients presenting to the Presurgical Screening clinic for consultation with an anesthesiologist will receive a standardized scripted discussion of the risk of myocardial injury following noncardiac surgery (MINS) based on their revised cardiac risk index. During the study period, patients will be randomized in blocks to exposure to a visual aid representing their individualized risk of MINS during the risk discussion. Immediately following the anesthesiology consultation, all patient will be invited to participate in the study and complete a survey that will assess ability to recall individualized cardiac risk and examine current risk discussion practices, patient satisfaction with cardiac risk discussion, importance of cardiac risk disclosure, assess anxiety related to risk discussion, and seek general feedback from participants. This study is structured to assess the effectiveness of incorporating the use of structured, scripted risk discussion with and without the use of a visual aid. A subset of consenting patients will be followed-up post operatively (within 48h) to assess recall of preoperative cardiac risk discussion.

The investigators hypothesizes that the use of visual representation of perioperative risk of Myocardial Injury after Non-Cardiac Surgery during the pre-anesthetic assessment will improve the patients' satisfaction with the cardiac risk discussion and the participant's understanding and retention of the risk in the post-operative period.

Condition Risk
Treatment Visual Aid, Visual Aid, Scripted Risk Discussion
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05098535
SponsorQueen's University
Last Modified on3 October 2022

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