3 years ago

Patient’s views of the consent process for groin hernia repair: Use of consent template improves compliance with best practice (Original research)

Saad U. Khan, David J. Bowrey, Robert N. Williams, Jun Yi Soh, Aikaterini Peleki, Nazli Muhibullah, Peter W. Waterland

Publication date: November 2018

Source: Annals of Medicine and Surgery, Volume 35

Author(s): Saad U. Khan, David J. Bowrey, Robert N. Williams, Jun Yi Soh, Aikaterini Peleki, Nazli Muhibullah, Peter W. Waterland


Informed consent obtained for day case surgery has been historically incomplete. An assessment of consenting practice for groin hernia was performed relative to existing gold standards and patient's perception of the consent process was evaluated with a questionnaire. The aim of the study was to identify areas of improvement to comply with best practice.


A retrospective audit of adult patients undergoing groin hernia repair (June–November 2016) at a tertiary care centre was performed. The same cohort of patients was surveyed with a self-administered questionnaire to identify their view on consenting practice.


113 patients were identified who underwent groin hernia repair during the study period. Pre-printed consent templates-stickers (as opposed to hand-written) were used in 53(47%) cases. In 75(66%) cases, there was complete documentation of the risks and benefits of surgery. 81(72%) patients received information about the full benefits of surgery. 27(23%) patients received partial information and 7(6%) patients had no mention of benefit recorded. Postoperative recovery was fully explained to 85(75%) patients. Use of pre-printed templates ensured 100% documentation compared to handwritten consent forms (risks 37%, benefits 47%, and recovery 53%). Preference for the timing of consent was in clinic (64%), day of surgery (25%). 34(56%) felt the choice for the technique and 22(36%) felt the choice for anaesthesia. Satisfaction was non-significantly better in those consented in clinic (87% versus 76% p = 0.74). 49(80%) felt happy with the overall consent process. 57(93%) felt that they received support and advice. 60(98%) responders felt confidence in the National Health Service and 59(97%) would recommend treatment to family and friends.


The use of pre-printed consent and discharge summary templates improve compliance with best practice. Whilst patient preference favours consent in the outpatient clinic, satisfaction levels were high wherever consent was obtained. Patients should have more choice.

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