Patients' desire for peri-operative information: Jamaican attitudes.


The desire for peri-operative information has been examined in patients from other countries. This study was undertaken to assess the peri-operative information needs in Jamaican patients and to compare them to those from other populations. A questionnaire examining the desire for information about impending anaesthesia was administered to 93 patients awaiting elective surgery at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Responses were assessed across age and gender, and were compared to results from five industrialized countries. Although Jamaican patients expressed a desire for information concerning anaesthesia and surgery, they did not regard it as their right to get information, and this was the most important factor in the Jamaican sample providing a significantly less positive response than patients from other nations (p < 0.01 versus each country). Information priority was given to practical aspects of anaesthesia and post-operative outcome-mobility, pain, and the consumption of food and drink. Meeting the anesthetist was high on the list of desires. Female patients were 1.9 (Confidence Interval 1.4, 2.5) times more likely to express a positive desire for information. There were no age-related differences.

The West Indian medical journal