Patients Who Take Home Their Surgical Pathology Specimens: A Preliminary Study
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Coll Med, Dept Pathol
products of conception
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
CitationGibson, B. A., & Sobonya, R. E. (2019). Patients Who Take Home Their Surgical Pathology Specimens: A Preliminary Study. Academic Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1177/2374289519832502
Rights© The Author(s) 2019
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractPatients regularly request to take possession of their human tissues after they have become surgical pathology specimens. To date, few formal research studies have examined the prevalence of this practice or the reasoning patients' request that their specimens to be returned to them. This study interviews patients from 2015 to 2017 at one US academic medical center who requested their surgical pathology specimens. Of the 22 eligible patients, 8 patients agreed to be interviewed. Interviews lasted 10 to 30 minutes and included 5 questions. The questions were: (1) What motivated your decision to obtain your surgical pathology specimen, (2) What, if anything, did you do with your specimen, (3) What were positive aspects of your experience, (4) What were negative aspects of your experience, (5) What can the pathology department change to better support patients who request their surgical pathology specimens? Verbatim transcripts were generated and a mixed-methods analysis was performed. The type of specimens included products of conception, placenta and cord, costal cartilage and ribs, loop explant recorder, pacemaker, below knee amputation, and cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The dominant themes included adversity, medical interest, souvenir, cultural beliefs, and curiosity. Subthemes included becoming whole in the afterlife, preservation, my body, restoration, honoring, and regret. In conclusion, pathologists can expand their role as patient advocates and advance patient-centered pathology by supporting patient's individual needs, motivations, and goals, when they request their surgical pathology specimens.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
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