Teaching Pediatrics Residents How to Obtain Informed Consent

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BackgroundFew physicians view informed consent as a critical component of the physician–patient relationship or as a way to improve individual and population health. We hypothesized that formal education about informed consent would affect first-year pediatrics residents’ knowledge and attitudes.MethodTwenty-seven first-year pediatrics residents participated in a randomized controlled trial with a wait-list control group. The one-hour interactive intervention consisted of a lecture, video, and small-group discussion. Outcomes were measured after randomization at baseline and after the intervention group received the intervention. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis and between and within group t tests. Qualitative data were obtained after the wait-list control group’s exposure to the intervention.ResultsThe quantitative analyses demonstrated that the intervention yielded statistically significant improvements in the measured outcomes. The qualitative analyses confirm the quantitative findings.ConclusionA formal session on informed consent in the pediatrics residency educational program positively affects residents’ knowledge and attitudes about informed consent.

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