Saadoun Faris Al Azmi, Bashair Abdullah Almutairi


Background: Surgeons’ role in informed consent is crucial and should know the basic principle of informed consent in collecting and providing information to patients. Surgeons’ attitudes toward informed consent depends on the knowledge they possess.

Objectives: Surgeons should become aware of the informed consent guidelines. New guidelines for consent have resulted in changes in health care environment that surgeons must adhere to. This study aims to highlight the way the surgeons in private hospitals view the informed consent for surgery processes.

Methods: This study is a cross-sectional survey that was conducted from January to June 2016 in two private hospitals. The sampling unit used in this survey was private hospitals in Kuwait. A custom designed questionnaire about informed consent for surgery was completed by surgeons working at private hospitals in Kuwait. The questionnaire was developed to examine the surgeons' attitudes towards informed consent. The participants, who were surgeons and working in the various surgical specialties in the two hospitals, were made aware that the emphasis was on the verbal or written information about the operation they provide their patients with and not merely about the signing of the consent form which could take place at the same time or later. They were asked to respond to each question by Yes (agreeing) or No (disagreeing) or Unsure. The responses of the surgeons to each statement were calculated, using Statistical analysis SPSS version 21.

Results: A high proportion 98.1% of private surgeons considered informed consent routinely achieved in their current practice. They thought that all surgeons should receive formal training on informed consent 81.6%. They have been received formal training on informed consent 76.7%.  On the other hand, private surgeons thought that written information leaflets should be provided for patients during informed consent46.6%. However, only 30.1% of private surgeons provide their patients with leaflets during informed consent. A high proportion of private surgeons 86.4% thought that the main purpose of informed consent is to provide the surgeon with greater protection against litigation. Furthermore, 95.1% of private surgeons thought that the main purpose of informed consent is to respect the patient’s right of autonomy. The majority of private surgeons 94.3% thought that the main purpose of informed consent is to improve the doctor patient relationship, and 83.5% of private thought that the main purpose of informed consent is to improve the patient’s compliance with medical care. On other hand, lower percentages 42.7% of private surgeons thought that informed consent may be unnecessary because most patients depend on their doctor to make the decision for them, and 62.1% of private surgeons thought that the doctor who is going to perform the operation, who should do the informed consent. Also, more private surgeons thought that the patients age, complexity and duration of surgery, gender, the patient social class, the timing of surgery, and the need for referral to another doctor or hospital affects the amount of information given during informed consent.

Conclusion: Surgeons in private should be more aware of the informed consent guidelines and they should adhere to them. Training on informed consent in both hospitals are recommended, and to provide more leaflet for patient during informed consent is required and important.

Keywords: Informed consent, surgical risk, private.

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