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J R Soc Med. 1994 March; 87(3): 143–144.
PMCID: PMC1294394

Informed consent: an evaluation of patients' understanding and opinion (with respect to the operation of transurethral resection of prostate).


The ability of patients to understand and recall information given prior to obtaining written consent was assessed in 55 patients who were due to undergo the operation of transurethral resection of prostate. The patients were also asked their opinion on informed consent. Most patients knew the position of the prostate and the purpose of the operation. Some aspects of the postoperative management and complications were less well remembered. In particular, 18% of the patients could not remember the possibility of retrograde ejaculation despite efforts to emphasize this. Of the patients who returned their questionnaires, 41% did not mind what happened to them provided they were made better; 54% trusted their doctor to do the right thing and did not think detailed explanation was important; 62% felt that consent forms are to protect the doctor's right; still most patients felt that consent forms were necessary. Sub-groups comparison showed no relationship between patients' attitude and their ability to recall information.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Hodkinson HM. Evaluation of a mental test score for assessment of mental impairment in the elderly. Age Ageing. 1972 Nov;1(4):233–238. [PubMed]
  • Byrne DJ, Napier A, Cuschieri A. How informed is signed consent? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988 Mar 19;296(6625):839–840. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hutson MM, Blaha JD. Patients' recall of preoperative instruction for informed consent for an operation. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1991 Feb;73(2):160–162. [PubMed]
  • Cassileth BR, Zupkis RV, Sutton-Smith K, March V. Informed consent -- why are its goals imperfectly realized? N Engl J Med. 1980 Apr 17;302(16):896–900. [PubMed]

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