Information overload during the pre-anesthesia interview

September 8, 2008

How much can you learn all in one go? Cognitive science has established that on average we can hold only seven or so “chunks” of new information.

In this Sept 2008 study in Anesthesia & Analgesia, patients interviewed in a pre-anesthesia clinic in Boston were heavily overloaded with information by nurses and doctors. Audio recordings showed that nurse practitioners attempted to transmit on average more than 110 pieces of information during the interview. The doctors came in with roughly 50 apiece. Read the rest of this entry »