• Circumcision;
  • Informed consent;
  • Newborn;
  • Satisfaction;
  • Video

Abstract Aim:  To determine if videotapes about newborn circumcision would be superior to traditional physician ‘informed consent’ discussion for maternal knowledge, satisfaction and perception of provider bias.

Design/methods:  A convenience sample of mothers interested in or undecided about circumcision was randomized to watch a video on: (i) circumcision risks/benefits (‘Video-Plus’ n = 168); or (ii) unrelated material followed by traditional physician risk/benefit discussion (‘Standard-MD’ n = 136). Questionnaires were administered during hospitalization and subsequent telephone interviews. Statistical differences were analysed by chi-square and Wilcoxon signed rank test.

Results:  Most mothers (82%) decided about circumcision prenatally. Fewer mothers perceived bias from the video vs. physicians [1.1% vs. 6.8%, p = 0.04]. Composite knowledge (correct of 10 answers) [inline image (SD) 6.5 (2.1) vs. 6.4 (2.1), p = 0.78] or satisfaction [5-point Likert scale, 3.98 (1.50) vs. 3.75 (1.58), p = 0.16] did not differ by group, although more highly educated mothers preferred the video [satisfaction 4.08 (1.01) vs. 2.63 (0.99), p = 0.04]. Significant knowledge gaps existed in both groups.

Conclusion:  In this setting, no difference in maternal knowledge was found between ‘Video-Plus’ and traditional informed consent although more highly educated mothers preferred the video. Better ways to achieve understanding of risks and benefits for this elective procedure should be sought.