Use of Voice Recordings in the Consultation of Patients Seeking Genital Gender-Affirming Surgery: An Opportunity for Broader Application Throughout Surgery?

Author(s): Shannon M Smith, Jenna Stelmar, Grace Lee, Peter R Carroll, and Maurice M Garcia

Introduction: It has been demonstrated that patient memory for medical information is often poor and inaccurate. The use of audio recordings for patient consultation has been described; however, to our knowledge this is the first reported use of audio recordings in consultation for genderaffirming surgery. Our aim was to determine whether, and specifically how, audio recording the consultation of patients presenting for genital gender-affirming surgery would be of benefit to patients.

Materials and Methods: We began to offer all new patients the opportunity to have their consultations recorded. At the end of the consultation the recording was uploaded to a USB, which was given to the patient to keep. We then surveyed all patients who had received a copy of their recorded consultation to query the utility of having access to an audio recording of their consultation.

Results: 71/72 (98.6%) patients who were given the option to have their consultation recorded chose to do so. 50/71 (70%) of patients who had their consultation recorded responded to our survey. Patients reported that having access to a voice recording of their consultation was beneficial and was viewed overwhelmingly positively.

Conclusions: Routine audio recording of patient consultations is highly beneficial to patients, with little cost to providers, and should be considered as a valuable addition to the new patient consultation. This approach may have applications in broader clinical contexts where patients face numerous, complex, and nuanced management options. The study would benefit from continued application and a larger (multi-center, international) sample.

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