Junior doctor experiences and challenges in obtaining surgical informed consent: a qualitative systematic review & meta-ethnography

de Costa, Josephine, Shircore, Mandy, and de Costa, Alan (2021) Junior doctor experiences and challenges in obtaining surgical informed consent: a qualitative systematic review & meta-ethnography. Journal of Surgical Research, 267. pp. 143-150.

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Introduction: Surgical informed consent (SIC) to procedures is necessary to ensure patient autonomy is adequately respected. It is also necessary to protect doctors, and their institutions, from claims of negligence. While SIC is often acquired by senior consultants, it also commonly falls to the junior doctors on a team to ensure SIC is adequately acquired and documented. A growing body of literature suggests that junior doctors are not sufficiently educated about the legal and practical issues concerned with obtaining medical consent. This may open up this cohort, and their hospitals, to medico-legal liability.

Aims: to provide a systematic review of the qualitative literature on junior doctors’ experiences and challenges in consenting surgical patients and to synthesize evidence on this issue in order to guide policy-makers in the medicolegal and medical education spheres.

Methods: a systematic review of qualitative literature was performed. Analysis of the literature was guided by Noblit and Hare's seven-step approach to meta-ethnography, with the final synthesis presented as a thematic analysis of the literature.

Conclusion: This research concludes that a significant proportion of SIC is likely to be acquired by junior doctors, many of whom are Post-Graduate Year (PGY) 1-2 and who lack adequate training and education. This cohort face challenges in assessing capacity, in ensuring adequate disclosure related to surgical procedures, and in adequately documenting consent. This may impact the validity of any SIC they acquire. Medical educators and policy-makers should be aware of these issues when creating policies impacting SIC, and when designing surgical education programs for medical students and junior doctors alike.

Item ID: 68490
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8673
Keywords: Informed consent; Junior doctors; Surgical consent; Education and training for junior doctors
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 22:53
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3299 Other biomedical and clinical sciences > 329999 Other biomedical and clinical sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4806 Private law and civil obligations > 480605 Tort law @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200299 Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230406 Legal processes @ 50%
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