Visual teaching aids improve patient understanding and reduce anxiety prior to a colectomy

Academic Article


  • Background: Informed consent forms consist of large blocks of written information that may be difficult for patients to understand. Visual teaching aids are promising, however, they have not been studied as a pre-operative educational tool for common surgical procedures. We pilot tested the use of a visual teaching aid during the informed consent process for a colectomy. Methods: A randomized pilot study was performed. Participants were randomized into the visual teaching aid group or standard care. Following the consent process, participants were questioned about potential surgical complications, anxiety, satisfaction, and understanding. Results: 30 participants were enrolled. Potential complication recall and patient-reported understanding were improved in the visual group (p = 0.01, p = 0.03). Anxiety levels were reduced in the visual group (p = 0.02). No statistically significant data were found for satisfaction (p = 0.75). Conclusions: Utilizing a visual teaching aid during the consent process for colectomy increases patient recall of risks, reduces anxiety, and improves understanding.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stewart JA; Wood L; Wiener J; Kennedy GD; Chu DI; Lancaster JR; Morris MS
  • Start Page

  • 780
  • End Page

  • 785
  • Volume

  • 222
  • Issue

  • 4