Comparison of the Structured Consent Process Using Modified Delphi Technique with the Standard Process in Obtaining Informed Consent for Procedures in ENT by PHASE III MBBS Students

Comparison of the Structured Consent Process Using Modified Delphi Technique with the Standard Process in Obtaining Informed Consent for Procedures in ENT by PHASE III MBBS Students
Original Article
Sapna Sreedharan Nambiar
Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 15 March 2023
Open Access
Communication skill is a core competency and the training must begin in the undergraduate period itself. The Phase III MBBS students during their ENT posting are required to obtain informed consent for procedures and surgeries in ENT which forms the basis for efficient communication skills in house-surgency (internship) and residency. Informed consent taking is an important aspect and in the clinical postings, the teaching of communication skills along with history taking and physical examination can go a long way in making a strong foundation to good doctor patient relationships. This study aimed to compare the structured consent process using modified Delphi technique with the standard process in obtaining informed consent for procedures in ENT by PHASE III MBBS students. The need to sensitise the MBBS students on appropriate consent taking procedures with familiarisation of the essential elements of the Kalamazoo consensus statement were raised, accepted and final OSCE assessment attributes decided by the modified Delphi technique. The Modified Delphi technique is a unique means to obtain opinions of experts across the field in various spheres so as to identify lacunae if any in the existing teaching with means to reach a valid and reliable consensus. Our study included Phase III MBBS students posted to the Department of ENT, Govt Medical College Kozhikode during Jan–Feb 2022 wherein one batch of 30 students were taught with 2 classes on informed consent taking by the structured process obtained after Modified Delphi technique and included as; “MD” group and another batch of 30 students from the entire batch taught by the standard process was included as; “T” group respectively. After completion of the clinical postings an assessment was carried out with OSCE stations in Mar 2022; wherein 10 students were evaluated for each of the 6 common ENT procedures, 5 students from “T” group and 5 students from “MD” group respectively. Median total score of MD group was 6.5 (3.25–8) and median score of T group was 4.5 (2.25–6.75). The difference in mean ranks of these scores was statistically significant, p < 0.0001. The feedback assessment using the questionnaire with Likert scale had all 30(100%) students recommend this method of structured consent taking for enhancement of communications skills. However 20% of the students were not satisfied with the teaching learning method expressing the need for more time allocation and demonstrations. Informed consent taking requires the appropriate training in the undergraduate period itself as seen by the improved OSCE scores on assessment after teaching by the structured consent taking process as well as from the feedback of the students.

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