About 30 percent of outpatients and 40 percent of inpatients who consider informed consent very important said they were satisfied with their doctors’ explanations about their condition and treatment, according to survey results released Monday by the Federation of Health Insurance Societies (Kenporen).

Meanwhile, 30 percent of the polled patients said they were not satisfied with their doctors’ explanations.

Survey questions were given to 2,991 health insurance holders and their dependents who received outpatient care or were hospitalized in September 1997, and 1,212 responded. The survey shows that doctors are called upon to provide more explanations to patients about their conditions and treatment than they initially expected to provide, a Kenporen source said.

Some 70 percent of inpatients and 52 percent of outpatients said their doctors gave them relatively detailed explanations to secure their informed consent. However, 28 percent of inpatients and 43 percent of outpatients said their doctors provided only very brief explanations in connection with informed consent.

About 70 percent of the patients stated they understood the explanations. Meanwhile, about 40 percent said they either accepted or had questions about prescribed medicine, quantities and side effects.

Kenporen said patients are sometimes forced to accept the doctors’ explanations even though they do not understand them.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.