How effective are interventions to promote informed consent for patients undergoing surgical and other invasive healthcare treatments and procedures?
Limitations of the review include difficulties combining the results of studies due to variation in the procedures undergone by patients, the interventions used and outcomes measured. Only 1 study attempted to measure the primary outcome, which was informed consent as a unified concept, but this study was at high risk of bias. More commonly, studies measured secondary outcomes which were individual components of informed consent, such as knowledge, anxiety, and satisfaction with the consent process.
Achieving informed consent is a core clinical procedure and is required before any surgical or invasive procedure is undertaken. However, it is a complex process which requires that patients are provided with information which they can understand and retain, that they are given the opportunity to consider their options, and that they are able to express their opinions and ask questions. There is evidence that at present some patients undergo procedures without informed consent being achieved