Patient Satisfaction with Surgical Informed Consent at Jimma Medical Center, Ethiopia | BMC Medical Ethics

Surgical informed consent is an essential part of preoperative care [1,2,3]. Informed consent is the process by which a health care provider obtains an individual’s permission before providing therapy, treatment, or surgery. [4]. The informed consent process involves more than signing a prescribed form [5]. Providing proper surgical informed consent to patients who have undergone surgery makes them feel satisfied [6,7,8].

Patient satisfaction is a major indicator of the quality of health services [9]. Patient satisfaction is the degree to which a patient meets expectations of ideal care based on their perception of the actual care received [10, 11]. Patient satisfaction with informed consent increases when written informed consent is provided, combined with verbal informed consent during the preoperative period [12]. Satisfied patients are more likely to comply with treatment, take an active role in their care, continue to use health care services, participate voluntarily in decision-making, and stay with a provider. Health care [13].

Previous studies have indicated that the level of patient satisfaction with informed consent varies from country to country. Studies from Pakistan, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland showed that patient satisfaction with surgical informed consent ranged from 49-95%. [14,15,16,17]. In contrast, patient satisfaction with the provision of surgical informed consent in African countries is relatively low. Studies conducted in Rwanda, Botswana, Eritrea, and Hawassa, Ethiopia found that overall patient satisfaction with surgical informed consent ranged from 36.9 to 67.4 percent. [18,19,20,21].

patients who were satisfied with their health care services showed greater adherence to treatment plans, fewer hospital readmissions, and greater intention to keep follow-up appointments; patients treated in hospital with higher patient satisfaction scores experienced lower rates of postoperative mortality and death after any complication [22].

Different studies have revealed that factors affecting patient satisfaction in preoperative care services include lack of a standard consent form, lack of preparation to deal with urgent medical conditions, overcrowding of the surgical unit , young age, low literacy, patient knowledge and understanding of surgery , patients who have undergone elective surgery, patients who have had experience with the disease or operation, lack of experience health care providers with CIS, heavy workload for health care providers, delay in seeking consent, time spent on providing informed consent and patient-physician relationship [7, 20, 23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30].

Around the world, various attempts have been made to improve the quality of healthcare by improving patient satisfaction. Recent studies have recognized the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) as a way to work with patients to optimize their condition before surgery, the intraoperative phase, the immediate postoperative phase and after discharge [31]. In Ethiopia, efforts have been made to improve patient satisfaction through informed consent. The effort included; the preparation of medico-legal guidelines, the integration of medical ethics for physicians into the curriculum and the provision of compassionate, respectful and caring healthcare providers have already begun [32]. However, it does not provide adequate results to improve patient satisfaction with surgical procedures. It was confirmed; that litigation issues for health care providers increase over time [33].

Previous studies in Ethiopia were limited to patient satisfaction with informed consent. Therefore, this study aimed to assess patient satisfaction with the provision of surgical informed consent at Jimma Medical Center, Jimma, Ethiopia.

Christine E. Phillips