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J Laryngol Otol. 1993 Sep;107(9):775-9.

Informed consent: using a structured interview changes patients' attitudes towards informed consent.

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Royal Infirmary, Sunderland.


Patients want to know more about their condition and its proposed treatment. Gaining patients' confidence before treatment reduces the changes of their seeking legal redress for an unexpected outcome. As part of a prospective study of informed consent for surgery we have assessed the attitudes of patients towards informed consent when different types of consent interview are used. We found that most patients are happy to do as their doctor advises but think the informal consent interview is important because it gives them information; they also want to know about most, but not all, complications of the procedure. One quarter worried about the anaesthetic, about one eighth worried about 'not waking up' and similar proportions worried about complications and other things such as pain and nausea. Most patients think that the consent form is a legal document. In addition patients who had an informal interview felt obliged to sign the consent form and thought it had medicolegal implications. In contrast those who had a structured interview felt less obliged to sign the consent form and more involved in the decision to operate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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