Exploring shared surgical decision-making from the patient’s perspective: is the personality of the surgeon important?

Carly Nichola Bisset* (Corresponding Author), Nicola Dames, Raymond Oliphant, Ala Alasadi, David Anderson , Simon Parson, Jennifer Cleland, Susan Joan Moug

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: To determine the importance of a colorectal surgeon’s personality to patients and its influence on their decision-making.
Methods: We present a 2-part mixed methods study using the GRIPP-2 long form. Part 1 was an online survey (25 questions) and Part 2 a face-to-face patient and public involvement (PPI) exercise. Part 1 included: patient demographics, details of surgery, overall patient satisfaction (Net Promoter Score, NPS) and patient views on surgeon personality (Gosling Ten Item Personality Index). Thematic analysis of free text responses generated 4 themes that were taken forward to Part 2. These themes were used to structure focus group discussions on surgeon-patient interactions.
Results: Part 1 yielded 296 responses: 72% female; 75.3% UK based and 55.1% aged 40-59 years.
Inflammatory bowel disease (45.3%) and cancer (40.2%) were the main indications. 84.1% of respondents reported satisfaction with their surgical experience (NPS). Four key themes were generated from Part 1 and validated in Part 2: 1) surgeon personality stereotypes (media differed from patients’ perspective); 2) favourable and unfavourable surgical personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, emotional stability preferred over risk-taking and narcissism); 3) patient-surgeon interaction (mutual respect and rapport valued); 4) impact of surgeon personality on decision-making (majority unaware of second opinion option; management of post-operative complications). Conclusion: Patients believe surgeon personality influences shared decision making. Low levels of emotional stability and conscientiousness are perceived by patients to increase the likelihood of postoperative adverse events. Further work is required to explore the potential influence of surgeon personality on shared decision-making and post-operative outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalColorectal Disease
Early online date30 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2020


  • surgeon
  • personality
  • Patient and public involvement
  • PPI

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