Assessment of Patient Understanding Prior to Urological Procedures

Published:September 30, 2022DOI:



      To evaluate patient understanding of risks, benefits, and alternatives (R/B/A) prior to urological procedures using the teachback method.


      Using a preprocedural phone interview, patients recalled general knowledge and R/B/A of a scheduled procedure. A scoring system compared patient responses to a standardized R/B/A list to analyze the level of understanding, graded as incomplete (<25%), partial (25-75%), or complete (>75%). Following the interview, additional education was provided if understanding was inadequate, and patients were queried regarding their satisfaction.


      Patients (n = 99) comprised 46% women; 32% Spanish speaking; Mean age was 64 ± 10.9 years. Procedures included were: intravesical botulinum toxin injection (24), mid-urethral sling (9), colpocleisis (4), prostate biopsy (24), ureteroscopy (16), transurethral resection prostate (11), transurethral resection bladder tumor (11). Across all procedures, the average percent of risks identified was 12%, benefits 63%, and alternatives 35%. No patients had complete understanding, but most had partial (73.7%). Patients had significantly higher level of understanding if they were female (P = 0.02), underwent the same procedure previously (P < 0.01) or any surgery within a year (P = 0.02), and were undergoing an in-office procedures (P = 0.03). After the teachback interview, most patients (90%) were satisfied with their understanding.


      In our cohort, patient understanding was alarmingly incomplete and there was substantial benefit in pre-procedural interviews. Our findings highlight the need for improvement in patient education prior to surgery and offers a potential solution using a teachback-based telephone interview.
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