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OBJECTIVE: The informed consent process is a fundamental element of best practice in the surgical patient’s care. The
aim of the present study is to investigate the value of informed consent from the patient’s perspective in a Teaching
Hospital. In particular, the role of the Residents within this process is analyzed to compare their performance with that
DESIGN: This is a prospective observational study based on a consecutive cohort of patients who were offered an elective
surgical procedure during the period April 2015 – September 2015.
SETTING: The study was conducted in the Surgical and Transplantation Unit of the University Hospital of Udine, Italy,
accredited by the Joint Commission International.
PARTICIPANTS: The study population consisted of 236 patients. The participants were asked on a voluntary basis to fill
in a self-evaluating questionnaire after being requested to complete a written informed consent before the operation.
RESULTS: In the present study we didn’t register any significant difference of patient’s satisfaction over informed consent
when we evaluated the performance of Residents in comparison to Consultants.
CONCLUSIONS: We believe that our positive results may be related to our educational training approach. However, adequate
education of Residents about seeking informed consent is not sufficient to guarantee an effective informed consent
process if it is not supported as a counterpart by the promotion of correct and positive patient knowledge and perception
of the Residents’ skills, clinical role and responsibilities.