Training Surgeons and the Informed Consent Process: Routine Disclosure of Trainee Participation and Its Effect on Patient Willingness and Consent Rates | Surgery | JAMA Surgery | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 35.170.64.36. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Paper
Jan 2012

Training Surgeons and the Informed Consent Process: Routine Disclosure of Trainee Participation and Its Effect on Patient Willingness and Consent Rates

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Madigan Army Health System, Tacoma, Washington.

Arch Surg. 2012;147(1):57-62. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.235
Abstract

Objectives To examine patient perceptions and willingness to participate in resident education and to assess the effect on patient willingness and consent rates.

Design Anonymous questionnaire designed to capture demographics, overall opinions of teaching programs, and willingness to consent to various scenarios of trainee participation. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed.

Setting Tertiary-level referral center.

Patients Three hundred sixteen individuals scheduled for elective surgery.

Main Outcome Measures Consent rates for various scenarios.

Results Of the 316 patients who completed the questionnaire, most expressed overall support of resident training: 91.2% opined that their care would be equivalent to or better than that of a private hospital, 68.3% believed they derived benefit from participation, and most consented to having an intern (85.0%) or a resident (94.0%) participate in their surgical procedure. However, when given specific, realistic scenarios involving trainee participation, major variations in the consent rate were observed. Affirmative consent rates decreased from 94.0% to 18.2% as the level of resident participation increased. Patients also were more willing to consent to the participation of a senior resident (83.1%) vs a junior resident (57.6%) or an intern (54.5%). Patients overwhelmingly opined that they should be informed of the level of resident participation and that this information could change their decision of whether to consent.

Conclusions Most patients expressed approval of teaching facilities and resident education. However, consent rates were significantly altered when more detailed information was provided and they declined with increasing levels of resident participation. Providing detailed informed consent is preferred by patients but it could adversely affect resident participation and training.

×