Process consent: a model for enhancing informed consent in mental health nursing

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Informed consent, essentially a legal doctrine, is designed to protect the rights of patients. However, in an area of practice such as psychiatry, informed consent imposes many problems if one considers it to be a static process. In this paper we propose that process consent, the type of consent considered essential in qualitative research projects, is not only appropriate but necessary for mental health nursing practice. This type of consent is an ongoing consensual process that involves the nurse and patient in mutual decision making and ensures that the patient is kept informed at all stages of the treatment process. We have used neuroleptic medications as an example throughout the paper and have suggested that seeking informed consent should be added to the role of the nurse in the mental health setting.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Journal of Advanced Nursing