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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery
Minerva Stomatologica 2006 October;55(10):541-9
language: English, Italian
Experimental evaluation of informed consent supplied by dental hygienists
Rossi G., Manicone P. F., Pescolla A., Raffaelli L., Rossi Iommetti P.
Unit of Dental Prosthetics Department of Dentistry Sacro Cuore Catholic University, Rome, Italy
Aim. Every medical act lawfulness always comes from a valid consent of the patient, who can freely decide only if he has been correctly informed by physician about all the features which concern his own health. The aim of this study was to value, in a group of patients undergoing initial therapies performed by dental hygienists, the real level of information supplied by hygienists when the informed consent was obtained.
Methods. One undred patients, who needed oral hygiene professional treatments performed by dental hygienists, were selected. Prior to the therapies, the patients’ informed consent was obtained; after the treatment, each patient filled up a questionnaire covering the main information concerning pathology and therapies.
Results. A total of 88% of the interviewed persons defined as comprehensive the information supplied by the dental hygienists. Never-theless, the most part of the patients was not able to correctly describe the treatment, regarding urgency of therapies, operative procedures, intrinsic difficulties, risks and complications, dental hygienists’ professional rule. Conclusions. It is at present hard to reach a valid level of information, both due to the difficulty to use a language that should be scientific and understandable at the same time, and to all the cultural, social and intellective characteristics which determine the real state of comprehension of each patient.