Objective. To conduct a descriptive analysis of the opinions of health care personnel regarding different aspects related with the informed consent, and mainly the information given on informed consent forms. Material and methods. All health care professionals (physicians, nurses and nursing auxiliaries) of a teaching hospital were invited to fill out an anonymous, 20-item questionnaire based on legal health guidelines. Degree of knowledge was assessed by age, professional and seniority status, speciality or position and bioethical background. Results. The questionnaire was filled out by 277 participants, with a hospital participation of 67%. A total of 45.1% of the health care professionals believed they had insufficient information on what the informed consent consists of and when it should be completed by patients; 81.2% considered that informed consent is an instrument of professional protection against demands by the user; 62.8% thought that the information provided is not sufficiently clear to the patient; 76.2% that the reading and understanding are difficult for the average person and 37.9% considered that there is excessive information. Regarding the basic elements that should be included in the informed consent form, 96.7% advocate information, 93.5% comprehension, 84.1% willingness and 74% competence. A total of 98.9% of participants believed that side effects of a diagnostic or therapeutic intervention should be specified in the document, 57% the likelihood of success and 70.8% alternatives. Furthermore, 59.6% are not in favor of using numerical percentages to express procedure risks. Conclusions. Half of health-care professionals were unaware of what an informed consent consists of, its different sections, the law that regulates it and the philosophy underlying its development.
|Journal||Revista Clinica Espanola|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2007|
- Ethics committee
- Informed consent
- Teaching hospital