, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 1510-1515
Date: 02 Aug 2012

Patient recall of surgical information after day case knee arthroscopy

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Day case knee arthroscopy is frequently performed on dedicated lists designed to optimise the throughput of patients. This could affect patient recall of clinical information with clinical, ethical and medicolegal consequences. The purpose of this study was to assess patient recall after knee arthroscopy and identify potential contributory factors.


Seventy-two patients undergoing day case knee arthroscopy were provided with information about their surgery post-operatively and tested for recall of the information prior to discharge. All patients underwent cognitive assessment when information was delivered and again when tested. Patient recall was correlated with demographic and anaesthetic factors and a multivariate regression model was used to identify risk factors for reduced recall.


Recall overall was poor. Significant independent risk factors for reduced recall were reduced cognitive state at the time of information delivery and a shorter time between surgery and information delivery. Duration of anaesthesia, use of sedatives and use of opiate analgesia were not significantly correlated with recall.


Information recall after day case knee athroscopy may be suboptimal. Allowing more time between surgery and information delivery may improve recall. However, this may be difficult during the course of a busy list and surgeons should consider using additional techniques to improve patient recall after surgery to reduce the risk of patient anxiety or non-compliance.

Level of evidence