Egyptian patients’/guardians’ experiences and perception about clinical informed consent and its purpose: Cross sectional study

Egyptian patients’/guardians’ experiences and perception about clinical informed consent and its purpose: Cross sectional study
Ammal M. Metwally, Hala A. Amer, Hend I. Salama, Safaa I. Abd El Hady, Raefa R. Alam, Ahmed Aboulghate, Hanan A. Mohamed, Hanan M. Badran, Amal A. Saadallah, Marwa M. El-Sonbaty, Eman Eltahlawy, Walaa Saad, Amira Mohsen, Ghada A. Abdel-Latif, Asmaa M. Fathy, Amal I. Hassanain, Abdelmoneim Eldali
PLoS One, 14 June 2021
Abstract
Background
Informed consent (IC) is a healthcare standard emphasizing the meaning of human dignity as clarified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Data about IC practices in Egypt is insufficient. This study aimed to assess the Egyptian patients’/guardians’ experiences about IC and their expectations about its practices’ purposes in general and according to the type of the healthcare facility.
Methods
Self-administered questionnaire was carried out for 1092 participants who had undergone or were scheduled to a procedure requiring an IC at three studied types for Egyptian health care facilities. Ten statements were ranked twice by the participants to reflect their perception of IC purpose as per what is currently practiced and what they believe should be practiced.
Results
IC implementation varies significantly (p<0.05) across the health care facilities in Egypt. The percentage of its implementation at the non-governmental facilities, governmental facilities, and university hospital was 85.9%, 77.8%, and 63.8 respectively. The first three ranked purposes of the current IC practices were: “Helping patient/guardian decide (64.9%)”, “Documenting patient’s/guardian’s decision (59.3%)”, and “Having shared decision (57.3%)”. The perceived purposes of IC to be practiced were: “Informing the patient/guardian (68.4%)”, “Making sure patient/guardian understand (65.3%)” and “Documenting patients/guardians decisions (65.1%)”. “Being a meaningless routine” was reported by the majority to be ranked as a low purpose for IC current and preferred practices.
Conclusion
The practice of IC is common within the Egyptian medical community. Participants believe that information disclosure “Making sure patients understand” has to help in IC decision making and its main purpose. However, unfortunately, this is not perceived as a current purpose of IC. There was consensus agreement that documenting the patient’s/guardian’s decision and informing the patient/guardian are perceived as both important current and preferred purposes for IC practices.

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