Background: Liver biopsy is a procedure that is carried out for making the diagnosis of abnormal liver conditions.
Aims and Objectives: This study assessed the factors that influence patients’ acceptance of liver biopsy.
Materials and Methods: A hospital-based prospective study was carried among patients scheduled for outpatient liver biopsy after informed consent. All completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire that captured their prebiopsy expectations, the degree of pain, areas they think need improvement during a biopsy process, and whether they will consent to a second liver biopsy for 100 participants. A qualitative aspect involved sixteen participants that had an in-depth interview purposively selected for their experience of liver biopsy. All 116 subjects had percutaneous liver biopsy performed. Data from the quantitative group were entered into SPSS version 20 and analyzed using simple and inferential statistics, while content analysis was done for the qualitative aspect.
Results: There were 100 participants in the quantitative group, 61 males and 39 females, and 16 in the qualitative group. Participants in the quantitative group expected a painful procedure (92%) that was likely to restrict their movement (64%), but were not expecting a prolonged stay (53%) or admission (78%). After biopsy, 44%, 40%, 28%, 26%, 18%, and 17% of participants were unhappy with the long monitoring hours, biopsy needle pain, number of biopsy passes, lying on the biopsy site, shoulder tip pain, and pain of local anesthetic injection, respectively. A total of 84% rated the procedure as bearable, and 73% were willing to do a second biopsy. The qualitative aspect identified five thematic areas and showed that liver biopsy pain was influenced by preoperative anxiety occasioned by ill-advice and was exaggerated among females.
Conclusion: Consenting for liver biopsy may be influenced by advice from relations, whereas factors relating to the procedure and long monitoring period remain as deterrent.
Keywords: Consent, liver biopsy, qualitative study