Best-case, worst-case discussions could help patients understand surgery risks

Finding ways to effectively discuss high-risk surgery with patients is an important yet challenging task for surgeons. Using a "best case/worse case" communication model could help some surgeons have more informative conversations with patients, according to a study cited by Medscape.

For the study, researchers trained 25 surgeons at a tertiary care hospital in how to use the best case/worst case communication model. Surgeons were asked to apply the model when discussing high-risk surgery with high-acuity, elderly patients.

Three months after training, 79 percent of surgeons in the study reported BC/WC is better than their usual approach for discussing high-risk surgery, and 71 percent endorsed active use of BC/WC in clinical practice.

Researchers also conducted qualitative interviews with patients and their families. Patients said they found BC/WC established surgery expectations, provided clarity and facilitated deliberation.

To read more about the study's methodology and conclusions, click here

More articles on patient engagement: 

6 essential strategies to improve patient engagement
5 stages of patient satisfaction and patient frustration
'What matters to you?' Day is Tuesday: 5 things to know about the patient engagement-focused day

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