O.O Afuwape, O.O Ayandipo
Background: Laparoscopic surgery is the gold standard in developed countries. Challenges in developing countries apart from the cost of instrumentation include a low acceptance level among patients. The consequent low volume of surgical cases debars cost reduction for surgery.
Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the knowledge level and perception of laparoscopic surgery in patients attending the surgical outpatient for the first time in a teaching hospital in Nigeria. We also determined probable factors which affect this.
Design of the study: This was a prospective study carried out on consenting new patients at the surgical out-patient clinic of the surgical out-patient clinic of a Nigerian Teaching Hospital. The questionnaire was administered to consenting patients through a face-to-face interview by non-medical personnel who had been instructed by the investigators. Data collection was on clinic days within the period.
Results: A total of 370 persons were recruited in this study with a male: female ratio of 1:1.79. The age distribution was between 14years and 81 years with a mean age of 44.19. 62.6% had no knowledge of laparoscopic surgery. 108(29.3%) and 260(70.7%) had positive and negative perception respectively. Only 44% of the patients with positive perception acquired information from appropriate hospital personnel. The longer the duration of perceived knowledge by the patients the higher the tendency to have the wrong perception. The level of education was a significant contributory factor to appropriate perception of laparoscopic surgery.
Conclusion: There is a need for public health education in the region to drive this relatively new frontier of surgery to improve our practice and encourage indigenous innovations.