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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1992 Feb;43(2):132-6.

The Hopkins Competency Assessment Test: a brief method for evaluating patients' capacity to give informed consent.

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1
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Abstract

The Hopkins Competency Assessment Test (HCAT), a brief instrument for evaluating the competency of patients to give informed consent or write advance directives, consists of a short essay and a questionnaire for determining patients' understanding of the essay. In a study to validate the instrument, 41 medical and psychiatric inpatients answered the questionnaire after reading the essay while bearing it read aloud. A forensic psychiatrist who was blind to the HCAT scores later examined the patients for competency. A subject's number of correct answers to the HCAT questionnaire was an accurate indicator of clinical competency as assessed by the psychiatrist. The results suggest that the HCAT is a useful tool for rapidly screening patients for competency to make treatment decisions.

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PMID:
1572608
DOI:
10.1176/ps.43.2.132
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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