Patient’s knowledge, attitudes and practices on informed consent in a clinical setting; A study done at Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Sri Lanka

Patient’s knowledge, attitudes and practices on informed consent in a clinical setting; A study done at Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Sri Lanka
Research Article
N. S. Perera, B. P. P. Perera, P. Paranitharan
Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 3 December 2021; 12(2) pp 11-18
Abstract
Introduction
The signing of a consent form is a process with legal and ethical implications. It is required that informed written consent be obtained from a patient for an invasive procedure after proper explanation of the risks, benefits and alternative procedures.
Objective
To determine knowledge, attitudes and practices related to informed consent among patients.
Materials and Methods
A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out over a period of one year in a Tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka. The participants were medical or surgical inward patients who were 18 years or above, who had consented to invasive procedure or surgery. The quantitative data of 420 patients were analyzed.
Results
Majority (96%) agreed that consent is important in medical practice. Many (61%) were of the view that it helps to make an informed decision. Majority (92%) preferred a doctor, who can explain more in the consent process than a nursing officer (11%). However, 61% were of the view that consent should be taken from the patient and relatives both, even if the patient is competent of giving consent. Majority of the participants (84%) wanted to discuss with family members before giving consent.
Conclusion
Majority of patients were aware of the concept of consent in medical practice and preferred the doctor and family members to be involved in the decision-making process. This finding is important to adopt a doctor-patient-family model in the consent taking process while respecting the patient’s wishes.

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