Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Patients and parents in dentistry often do not remember important information disclosed during the informed consent process, so improvement in the delivery of information is needed. This study explored the effect of an emailed narrated instructional PowerPoint on the immediate vs. delayed recall and comprehension of informed consent information in orthodontics. Thirty-two subjects were recruited from a university and private practice orthodontic clinic. At the initial visit, subjects were alternately assigned to one of two groups and were presented with a mock orthodontic treatment plan and informed consent presentation for a pretend patient. Immediately following the presentation, the subjects’ verbal recall and comprehension of information required for informed consent was assessed. Within 24 hours, subjects in the treatment group were emailed an informational PowerPoint video reinforcing information about the treatment plan and risks and benefits of treatment, while the remaining participants did not receive additional information. A week after the initial meeting, all subjects were contacted by phone and the assessment they received at the initial visit was readministered. A statistically significant interaction was found between the effects of the PowerPoint and the time of patient recall. Those subjects who received the PowerPoint video were more likely to recall and comprehend the treatment plan and informed consent information seven days following the initial visit than did participants who had not received the adjunct material. Additionally, for the subjects who received the PowerPoint, there was a statistically significant improvement in recall and comprehension of the factors that would increase orthodontic treatment time beyond the original estimate. All subjects within the study recalled and comprehended that orthodontic treatment results are not guaranteed for life. Few studies have examined the retention of informed consent material in orthodontics beyond the initial visit, and the present results are consistent with the need for improvement of this process. With the use of an emailed home informational video reviewing treatment plan and informed consent information, delayed recall and comprehension in orthodontics can be improved. By improving the parent’s recall and comprehension, a higher quality of care can be delivered in orthodontics.