Panel Paper: Understanding Public Perceptions on the Utility of Robotic Surgical Procedures

Saturday, November 8, 2014 : 2:25 PM
Estancia (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kacey L. Keefe, Connor Fuchs and Geoboo Song, University of Arkansas
Since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, robotic surgery has gained a strong foothold as a promising innovation in surgical health procedures.  Advocates of the use of such surgical methods boast various benefits in comparison to traditional laparoscopic surgery, including decreased pain, less blood loss, and shorter hospital stays and recovery time.  However, these promised benefits have not always been experienced by all who have received the procedures, as some studies have found that these claims to be ungrounded, reporting no significant differences in the outcomes between traditional and robotic procedures.  Furthermore, opponents of the use of robotic surgery suspect that this relatively new surgical method can induce complications and side effects in patients, including sepsis, peritonitis, bowel injuries and even death.  While many previous analyses focus on the efficacy of the claims made by each side of the debate pertaining to the effectiveness of robotic surgical procedures, there has been little investigation into public perceptions on the utility of this surgical method itself and the root cause of the formation of such perceptions, all of which are essential to understand the general public’s preferences toward the use of robotic surgery (over the alternative) and their opinions on the design of related government policies.  Based upon Internet survey experiments embedded with contingent valuation techniques, the proposed study examines how individuals assess the benefits and risks associated with the implementation of robotic surgery and how such assessments transform into their preferences toward these surgical procedures and related government policies.

Full Paper: