Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Objective: To study the awareness of 'Informed Consent', among patients presenting to Family Physicians.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at the Community Health Centre, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi in July 2002. Written Consent was taken and confidentially was assured
Results: Out of the 100 patients interviewed, 80 agreed to participate in the study, forty-four men and thirty-six women. Approximately half the participants (45%) were graduates and 40% had less than five years of school education. The awareness of the process of 'informed consent' was observed in only 20% of the respondents, all in the educational category of graduates.
Conclusion: A lack of awareness of informed consent was observed in patients attending the Community Health Centre, Aga Khan University, despite stringent institutional policies, which are adequately followed. To improve awareness, 'Health Education Programs' for the population are required with media support. Readability of written consent forms should be of class V level or less to give advantage to the less educated classes in the society. Local languages should be utilized for written and verbal consent. Public health programs should also be aimed at educating physicians, nurses and paramedics. Provisions should be made to legalise the process of taking consent (JPMA 54:398;2004).

Publication

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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