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Doctors’ perspectives of informed consent for non-emergency surgical procedures: a qualitative interview study

Wood, Fiona ORCID:, Martin, Sean Michael, Carson-Stevens, Andrew ORCID:, Elwyn, Glyn, Precious, Elizabeth and Kinnersley, Paul Richard 2016. Doctors’ perspectives of informed consent for non-emergency surgical procedures: a qualitative interview study. Health Expectations 19 (3) , pp. 751-761. 10.1111/hex.12258

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Background The need to involve patients more in decisions about their care, the ethical imperative and concerns about ligation and complaints has highlighted the issue of informed consent and how it is obtained. In order for a patient to make an informed decision about their treatment, they need appropriate discussion of the risks and benefits of the treatment. Objectives To explore doctors’ perspectives of gaining informed consent for routine surgical procedures. Design Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews selected by purposive sampling. Data were analysed thematically. Setting and Participants Twenty doctors in two teaching hospitals in the UK. Results Doctors described that while consent could be taken over a series of consultations, it was common for consent to be taken immediately prior to surgery. Juniors were often taking consent when they were unfamiliar with the procedure. Doctors used a range of communication techniques to inform patients about the procedure and its risks including quantifying risks, personalizing risk, simplification of language and use of drawings. Barriers to effective consent taking were reported to be shortage of time, clinician inexperience and patients’ reluctance to be involved.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: health care professionals; informed consent; qualitative research; risk communication; surgery
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1369-6513
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 6 August 2014
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 20:48

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