Patients' Perception and Actual Practice of Informed Consent, Privacy and Confidentiality in General Medicine Outpatient Departments of Two Tertiary Car Hospitals of Lahore
Imam, Sardar Zakariya
BMC Medical Ethics [electronic] 2008; 9:14: 1-8
Background: The principles of informed consent, confidentiality and privacy are often neglected during patient care in developing countries. We assessed the degree to which doctors in Lahore adhere to these principles during outpatient consultations. Material and Method: The study was conducted at medical out-patient departments (OPDs) of two tertiary care hospitals (one public and one private hospital) of Lahore, selected using multi-stage sampling. 93 patients were selected from each hospital. Doctors' adherence to the principles of informed consent, privacy and confidentiality was observed through client flow analysis performed by trained personnel. Overall patient perception was also assessed regarding these practices and was compared with the assessment made by our data collectors. Results: Some degree of informed consent was obtained from only 9.7% patients in the public hospital and 47.8% in the private hospital. 81.4% of patients in the public hospital and 88.4% in the private hospital were accorded at least some degree of privacy. Complete informational confidentiality was maintained only in 10.8% and 35.5% of cases in public & private hospitals respectively. Informed consent and confidentiality were better practiced in the private compared to the public hospital (two-sample t-test > 2, p value
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