Paper 20

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Parent Attitudes Toward Resident Involvement in Their Child’s Strabismus Surgery

 Hans W. Andrews; Ajay Soni; Michael Green; Amanda Ely; David Quillen
Penn State College of Medicine
Hershey, PA

Introduction:  Ophthalmology residents are involved in all aspects of patient care including surgery on adults and children. This study aims to explore patterns in parents’ understanding and preferences related to ophthalmology residents’ participation in their child’s strabismus surgery.

Methods:  Over four weeks, a survey was distributed at an academic eye center to English-speaking parents of children with strabismus who have not previously undergone, or were not being scheduled for, strabismus surgery.

Results:  Sixty-four parents were eligible for the survey and all participated in full. For a resident to assist or perform the surgery, 80% and 97% of parents, respectively, indicated it was important or extremely important to be asked permission beforehand. Sixty-nine percent of respondents indicated the attending surgeon should ask permission for the resident to perform the surgery, while only 11% believed a standard written consent was sufficient. Seventy-seven percent indicated they would agree to a resident assisting with their child’s operation, while 36% would agree to a resident performing the surgery.

Discussion:  Nearly all parents want to be informed of resident involvement by the attending surgeon. The vast majority of parents would consent to having an ophthalmology resident assist in their child’s strabismus surgery and more than one-third would consent to having the resident perform their child’s strabismus surgery.

Conclusion:  The process of obtaining informed consent provides the opportunity to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship while increasing transparency and highlighting the importance of ophthalmology residency education. Disclosure of the involvement of an ophthalmology resident may alleviate the parents’ concerns while promoting ophthalmology resident autonomy.

References:  1. Wisner DM, Quillen DA, Benderson DM, Green MJ. Patient attitudes toward resident involvement in cataract surgery. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(9):1235-1239.
2. Zeller M, Perruzza E, Austin L, et al. Parental understanding of the role of trainees in the ophthalmic care of their children. Ophthalmology. 2006;113(12):2292-2297.
3. Chen AJ, Scott IU, Greenberg PB. Disclosure of resident involvement in ophthalmic surgery. Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(7):932-934.

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