Introduction. Although traditional quality measures such as morbidity and mortality outcomes still pay an important role in the assessment of health care quality, greater emphasis is now being placed on patient-reported outcome measures such as patient satisfaction. This area is especially important for novel surgical technologies such as single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) and natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES). These new innovations are able to minimize or abolish surgical scarring and are likely to have most benefit in the area of patient satisfaction as opposed to traditional outcome measures. Therefore, it is important to gauge the public opinion regarding these new techniques, as continued public interest can help support further research in this up-and-coming field. Methods. A questionnaire study was carried out with members of the general public. Questions were asked regarding preference for surgical techniques, including open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, NOTES, and SILS, in the situation of acute appendicitis. Results. The questionnaire was completed by 1006 individuals. Results indicated that an established safety profile was necessary before the introduction of these new techniques into general practice. The concept of scarless surgery did appeal to the public, with SILS being the treatment of choice in the scenario of acute appendicitis. Discussion. The patient perspective on health care is an important aspect of health care quality assessment. This is especially important with regard to the development of novel surgical techniques such as SILS and NOTES. With these techniques, the potential benefits are most likely to be found in the realms of reduced scarring and improved patient satisfaction. The findings from this study demonstrate the public's interest in these new techniques and thus give further support to continued research and development in this area.
- patient satisfaction
- patient-reported outcomes