Comparison of information delivery methods for informed consent for blood transfusions

Comparison of information delivery methods for informed consent for blood transfusions
April Jones, Krishna Badami
New Zealand Journal of Medical Laboratory Science, August 2020; 74(2) pp 149
Objectives: Informed consent is a process in which patients are educated about their treatment options, allowing them to make autonomous decisions about whether they consent to treatment. Blood transfusions are a treatment option associated with a multitude of risks which require patient consent. There is evidence the information provided for informed consent, particularly around the risks associated with blood transfusions, is not adequately understood by patients. This project aimed to investigate whether the process of patient education can be improved by use of an information sheet. Methods: A randomised controlled trial was performed using members of the public and medical staff. Participants were randomly assigned to the control or intervention group. The control group received an audio recording replicating the current education process. The intervention group received an A4 sheet of information. Understanding and recall of the information provided was assessed using a questionnaire. The mode for each group was calculated and used to compare the survey results. Results: The results implied neither form of information was adequate in promoting understanding of the risks associated with blood transfusions. There was some evidence suggesting the intervention improved understanding and recall of the frequency of transfusion associated risks. The severity of such events appeared to be unclear irrespective of the type of information received. Conclusion: With further development of the information given, routine use of supplementary paper based information could assist understanding of the frequency and severity of transfusion associated risks through reinforcement of information given during a discussion.

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