Patients' Satisfaction With the Preoperative Informed Consent Procedure: A Multicenter Questionnaire Survey in Switzerland

Ghulam, Amina T.; Kessler, Marorit; Bachmann, Lucas M.; Haller, Urs; Kessler, Thomas M.
March 2006
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Mar2006, Vol. 81 Issue 3, p307
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To assess patients' satisfaction with the preoperative informed consent procedure in obstetrics and gynecology. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between March 2001 and April 2002, patients from 11 Swiss hospitals, representing 3 linguistic areas of Switzerland, were given a questionnaire and a standardized operation-specific leaflet and engaged in a structured conversation. The questionnaire and operation-specific leaflet were designed in collaboration with the Swiss Patient Organization, the Judiciary service of the Swiss Medical Association, and the Swiss Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. RESULTS: A total of 3888 (56%) of 6970 women received the questionnaire and were enrolled in the study. Most of the patients considered the written and oral information to be good or excellent, and more than 80% did not desire further written information. Forty-five percent would have preferred to receive this structured information the same day the decision to undergo an invasive procedure was made, and more than half of the patients were reassured by the information provided. However, in 7% anxiety increased. In the multivariate analysis, Turkish (odds ratio [OR], 6.7; 95% confidence interval [Cl], 2.0–22.4; P=-.002) and Serbo-Croat (OR, 8.0; 95% Cl, 2.4–27.4; P=-.001) language and a poor rating of the written description of the planned operation (OR, 3.1; 95% Cl, 1.1–9.0; P=-.03) were the only variables significantly associated with discontent. CONCLUSIONS: The combined written and oral preoperative information presented is well adapted to patients' informative wishes and needs; it allows for a structured conversation, facilitates documentation, and offers valid legal proof that adequate information has been provided. Therefore, close collaboration between the national patient organization and the expert Judiciary and medical societies of the corresponding country is strongly recommended to improve the informed consent procedure.


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