Evaluation of consent forms for clinical practice in Spanish Public Hospitals

Evaluation of consent forms for clinical practice in Spanish Public Hospitals
Original Article
Morales-Valdivia, R. Camacho-Bejarano, A.M. Brady, M.I. Mariscal-Crespo
Journal of Healthcare Quality Research, 27 September 2022
To evaluate the access, development, and quality of consents forms for clinical practice within the Spanish Public Hospitals.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a two-stage process (January 2018–September 2021). In stage 1, A nationwide survey was undertaken across all public general hospitals (n = 223) in the Spanish Healthcare System. In stage 2, Data was taken from the regional health services websites and Spanish regulations. Health Regional Departments were contacted to verify the accuracy of the findings. Data was analyzed using a descriptive and inferential statistics (frequencies, percentages, Chi-square & Fisher’s exact tests).
The response rate was 123 (55.16%) of Spanish Public Hospitals. The results revealed a range of hospital departments involved in the development of consent documents and the absence of a standardized approach to consent forms nationally. Consent audits are undertaken in 43.09% hospitals and translation of written consents into other languages is limited to a minority of hospitals (35.77%). The validation process of consent documentation is not in evidence in 13% of Spanish Hospitals. Regional Informed Consent Committees are not place in the majority (70.7%) of hospitals. Citizens can freely access to consent documents through the regional websites of Andalusia and Valencia only.
Variability is found on access, development and quality of written consent across the Spanish Public Hospitals. This points to the need for a national informed consent strategy to establish policy, standards and an effective quality control system. National audits at regular intervals are necessary to improve the consistency and compliance of consent practice.

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