Gaps in Informed Consent Process Among Women Who Have Undergone Elective Caesarean Section at AIC Kijabe Hospital, Kiambu County
Informed consent for elective C-sections is both a legal and ethical requirement. It includes the patient’s decision-making capacity, provision of adequate information, and voluntary consent. The aim of the study was to examine the informed consent process for elective C-sections at Kijabe Hospital with a focus on identifying gaps. The study design was cross-sectional and a structured questionnaire assessing 15 recommended elements of the informed consent process was administered to 137 women post-surgery. Descriptive statistics were used for sociodemographic data. The 15 elements of informed consent were aggregated and expressed in frequencies. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel and STATA. The results demonstrated excellent compliance with 100% of files having a signed consent form. However, documentation of the informed consent discussion(s) was not done in all cases. Infrequently addressed elements were; the benefits of surgery, post-surgery briefing and implications on future pregnancy at 59.1%, 57.7% and 67.9% of participants respectively. The average time spent obtaining consent was ten minutes. Of note is that patients’ questions and concerns were addressed in 97.1% of participants. In conclusion, all other elements of the informed consent process were frequently addressed except, documentation of the process, benefits of surgery, post-operative briefing, and implications of the surgery on future pregnancy.
Key Words: elective cesarean section, gaps, informed consent