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Minerva Pediatrica 2018 May 14

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.18.05084-3


lingua: Inglese

Consents or waivers of responsibility? Parents’ information in NICU

Carlo V. BELLIENI 1 , Caterina CORADESCHI 2, Maria R. CURCIO 2, Elisa Grande 2, Giuseppe BUONOCORE 2

1 Department of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Siena University Hospital, Siena, Italy; 2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy


BACKGROUND: Informing the patient is a base of modern medicine; nonetheless, a great discrepancy exists between hospitals on the way this information should be administered. This is particularly important when the patient are babies: the information should be given to their parents who should approve or disapprove the treatment. Aim of this study is to assess the adequacy of the information administered to the parents of babies admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
METHODS: We analyzed the consent forms of center-north Italy NICUs. To this aim, we assessed if the forms had acceptable length and other features; we then asked some volunteers to simulate an information process and to score the forms for their easiness, comprehensibility and explicability to others.
RESULTS: Twenty-one NICUs accepted to participate. Only 7 out of 21 had an adequate information form; the other 14 could be described as “waiver of responsibility ” (WOR), because they were too prolix and contained too many hypothetical procedures. The overall level of easiness, comprehensibility and explicability to others was suboptimal, being lower in those forms we defined WOR.
CONCLUSIONS: The results are far to be optimal. More care should be devoted to the process of informing parents at the admission into the NICU: an information overload should be avoided and information should be tailored on the baby’s state. Further analysis should be devoted to whether the use of WOR is routine in other countries.

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