Confidence level, challenges, and obstacles faced by orthopedic residents in obtaining informed consent

Confidence level, challenges, and obstacles faced by orthopedic residents in obtaining informed consent
Abdulaziz Z. Alomar
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 17 June 2021; 16(390)
Open Access
Abstract
Objectives
The objective is to evaluate the opinions of orthopedic residents on current practices, experiences, training, confidence level, difficulties, and challenges faced when obtaining informed consent.
Design
This is a cross-sectional, multi-center, and questionnaire-based study.
Setting
The study was done in forty-four training centers across Saudi Arabia.
Participants
In total, 313 orthopedic residents participated.
Material and methods
The web-based questionnaire examined the perceptions of residents regarding practices, experience, training, difficulties, and challenges surrounding the obtention of informed consent, as well as residents’ confidence in obtaining informed consent for different orthopedic situations and eight common orthopedic procedures.
Results
Most residents were allowed to obtain consent independently for all emergency, trauma, primary, and revision cases at their institution (92.7%). Only 33.5% of the residents received formal training and teaching on obtaining informed consent, with 67.1% having believed that they needed more training. Only 4.2% of the residents routinely disclosed all essential information of informed consent to patients. Inadequate knowledge (86.3%) and communication barriers (84.7%) were the most reported difficulties. Generally, 77.3% of the residents described their confidence level in obtaining informed consent as good or adequate, and 33.9% were confident to discuss all key components of the informed consent. Residents’ confidence level to independently obtain informed consent decreased with procedure complexity. Receiving formal training, senior level (postgraduate year (PGY) 4 and 5), and being frequently involved in obtaining informed consent correlated with increased confidence level.
Conclusion
Many residents incompletely disclosed key information upon obtaining informed consent and reported lacking confidence in their ability to perform the procedure in their daily practices. To improve patient care and residents’ performance and overcome these difficulties and challenges, institutions should develop effective strategies to standardize the informed consent process, provide formal training for obtaining informed consent, and provide supervision for residents during obtention of informed consent.

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