Knowledge and Practice of Informed Consent Among Oral Healthcare Providers in a Tertiary Health Facility in the South-South of Nigeria

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Background: Informed consent has become a global practice recognized in clinical practice. Patients are getting more aware of the types of treatments they are given and the patient’s rights to information about the treatment procedures they receive are also on the rise

Objective: To assess the knowledge and practice of informed consent among dental healthcare providers.

Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study that was conducted in the dental clinic of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital from June to December 2022. The research was carried out among 105 dental healthcare providers through self-administered, structured questionnaires. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 25; Frequency and descriptive statistics were generated, and Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to examine differences between groups. P value less than 0.05 was regarded as statistically significant.

Results: Of the 130 questionnaires shared, 105 respondents filled and returned representing a response rate of 80.8%. The majority (81.9%) of respondents had excellent knowledge of informed consent while only a little more than half (60.0%) had a good practice of informed consent. There was a statistically significant relation between the practice of informed consent and the gender of the respondents. (p-0.042) The mean knowledge scores were highest among males (3.9+0.440) and dentists (3.9+0.402) with a strong association(p-0.006). Males (2.7+0.497) recorded higher practice scores and those who had practiced for more than 15 years recorded better practice of informed consent. The majority (70.5%) of the respondents favoured verbal consent.

Conclusion: The study noted excellent knowledge among the respondents which did not translate to good practice as only a little over half (60.0%) of the respondents recorded good practice of informed consent.

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