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Article

Written Informed Consent—Translating into Plain Language. A Pilot Study

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Department of Medical and Pharmacy Law, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Gdańsk, 80-210 Gdańsk, Poland
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Department of Nursing Management, Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, Medical University of Gdańsk, 80-211 Gdańsk, Poland
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Department of Plastic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdańsk, 80-214 Gdańsk, Poland
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College of the Law, University of California Hastings, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ilaria Baiardini
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020232
Received: 19 December 2020 / Revised: 15 February 2021 / Accepted: 17 February 2021 / Published: 20 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety)
Background: Informed consent is important in clinical practice, as a person’s written consent is required prior to many medical interventions. Many informed consent forms fail to communicate simply and clearly. The aim of our study was to create an easy-to-understand form. Methods: Our assessment of a Polish-language plastic surgery informed consent form used the Polish-language comprehension analysis program (jasnopis.pl, SWPS University) to assess the readability of texts written for people of various education levels; and this enabled us to modify the form by shortening sentences and simplifying words. The form was re-assessed with the same software and subsequently given to 160 adult volunteers to assess the revised form’s degree of difficulty or readability. Results: The first software analysis found the language was suitable for people with a university degree or higher education, and after revision and re-assessment became suitable for persons with 4–6 years of primary school education and above. Most study participants also assessed the form as completely comprehensible. Conclusions: There are significant benefits possible for patients and practitioners by improving the comprehensibility of written informed consent forms. View Full-Text
Keywords: informed consent; patient’s rights; plain language; plastic surgery; work environment; quality management practice; risk management informed consent; patient’s rights; plain language; plastic surgery; work environment; quality management practice; risk management
MDPI and ACS Style

Zimmermann, A.; Pilarska, A.; Gaworska-Krzemińska, A.; Jankau, J.; Cohen, M.N. Written Informed Consent—Translating into Plain Language. A Pilot Study. Healthcare 2021, 9, 232. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020232

AMA Style

Zimmermann A, Pilarska A, Gaworska-Krzemińska A, Jankau J, Cohen MN. Written Informed Consent—Translating into Plain Language. A Pilot Study. Healthcare. 2021; 9(2):232. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020232

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zimmermann, Agnieszka, Anna Pilarska, Aleksandra Gaworska-Krzemińska, Jerzy Jankau, and Marsha N. Cohen 2021. "Written Informed Consent—Translating into Plain Language. A Pilot Study" Healthcare 9, no. 2: 232. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020232

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