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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina (México)

On-line version ISSN 2448-4865Print version ISSN 0026-1742


VIZCAYA BENAVIDES, David Marcelo; ZUNIGA VILLARREAL, Felipe Antonio; PEREZ CORTES, Patricia  and  COBOS AGUILAR, Héctor. Patients’ knowledge about informed consent in a general hospital. Rev. Fac. Med. (Méx.) [online]. 2014, vol.57, n.5, pp.5-13. ISSN 2448-4865.


The informed consent is a written document signed by the patient or by his legal representative, in which risks and benefits are understood and accepted, once the physician has informed them about medical procedures to be performed.


To determine the level of knowledge about the informed consent in patients from a general hospital.


Transversal survey. 220 hospitalized patients of surgery from pediatrics and internal medicine wards were studied, sampling was chosen randomly, systematically and by ward. A validated and consistent instrument was applied consisting of 13 questions (validated by two anesthesiologists, one pediatrician, one emergency physician and one intensive care physician in two rounds, which were members of the Bioethics Committee), that explored age, genre, education, authorization and type of medical care, the legal responsible, full reading of the document, reasons for not reading, and medical information before signature. The general knowledge was the dependent variable (explored through a question with five possible answers, each one worth one point, that analyzed the document characteristics, classifying results as “knows a lot” with five points, “knows little” two to three points and “doesn’t know” with 0 to one point. The survey was self-applied. A document was valid when it included the signatures of the patient, the physician, and two witnesses, as well as the proposed procedure. Incomplete surveys were eliminated. The surveys were compared to the clinical file. The consistency was determined and the qualitative answers were compared through chi-square.


74 patients by service; 26% had no knowledge about the informed consent, 63% had limited knowledge, even though 62% signed the document. Only 56% of the clinical files had a valid informed consent.


the majority of patients ignore the informed consent, although they still sign it. The rate of informed consents present in clinical files was deficient.

Keywords : Informed consent; general hospital.

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