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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-212

Informed consent in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria: how involved is the nurse?

Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo, Nigeria

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INTRODUCTION: We reviewed the nurse's involvement and role perception on informed consent in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria OBJECTIVES: The study aimed at determining the nurses' knowledge, attitude and perception of role in informed consent and the level of participation in the procedure. METHODS: A descriptive cross sectional study of the nurses in the medical and surgical units of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital was carried out using semi structured questionnaire. RESULTS: Sixty five nurses participated in the study. A high proportion - 60 (92.3%) had heard of informed consent but only 26(40%) had correct and adequate knowledge of informed consent. Forty (61.5%) had participated as witnesses to the procedure of seeking informed consent. Participation was only sometimes in 38 (58.5%) of respondents. Forty seven (86.2%) nurses wanted nurses to be involved in obtaining informed consent because it improves quality of patient care while 38(58.5%) nurses believed that involvement of nurses should be because it is the nurses' statutory responsibility. CONCLUSION: It would appear that the knowledge of informed consent among nurses was inadequate and nurses were not adequately carried along in the process. Training of nurses in this important procedure would greatly enhance the quality of patient care.

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