Patient preferences regarding the communication of biopsy results in the general otolaryngology clinic

Anirudh Saraswathula, Jennifer Y. Lee, Uchechukwu C. Megwalu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To determine the preferred methods of communicating biopsy results for patients in our comprehensive otolaryngology clinic, and to examine factors associated with preferring remote vs. in-person communication of results. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Academic comprehensive otolaryngology clinic. Subjects and methods: A survey instrument was administered to 107 consecutive adult otolaryngology patients undergoing head and neck fine needle aspiration biopsy from March 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018 assessing their health literacy using the Brief Health Literacy Score and their preferred method of notification of biopsy results (in-person vs. remote). Results: 69% of patients preferred remote notification of their biopsy results (either by telephone or via an online portal). 54% of patients prioritized clear explanation of the results as the most important factor when communicating a malignant result. Adequate health literacy was associated with lower odds of preferring in-person notification (adjusted odds ratio 0.11, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.39). Patients who prioritized clear explanation of the results were more likely to prefer in-person notification (adjusted OR 4.13, 95% CI 1.31 to 14.88). Conclusions: A significant proportion of patients in our comprehensive otolaryngology clinic undergoing fine needle aspiration biopsy preferred remote communication of their biopsy results. Patients most valued clear explanations from the provider and prompt receipt of the result when communicating malignant results. This highlights the need for individualized results communication plans, for patients undergoing biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biopsy
  • Communication
  • Health literacy
  • Otolaryngology
  • Patient preference

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