Turkish Journal of Anaesthesiology & Reanimation

Evaluating the Readibility of Informed Consent Forms Available Before Anaesthesia: A Comparative Study


Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Anesteziyoloji ve Reanimasyon Anabilim Dalı, İzmir, Türkiye

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim 2014; 42: 140-144
DOI: 10.5152/TJAR.2014.94547
Read: 292 Downloads: 122 Published: 01 October 2019

Objective: Informed consent forms that are used prior to administering anaesthesia inform patients before any proposed surgical procedure or treatment. They should provide patients with sufficient information about the operation and treatment. Readibility refers to whether it is easy or hard for a reader to read and understand an available text, and this is evaluated via various formulas. The aim of this study was to evaluate the readability of different informed consent forms commonly used in the anaesthesiology departments of different hospitals in our country using different readability formulas.

Methods: After obtaining ethics committee approval, the readability of different consent forms used in the anaesthesiology departments of university hospitals (n=15), Ministry of Health (MOH) education and research hospitals (n=15), and public hospitals (n=15) was analysed. Each consent form was displayed electronically in “Microsoft Word” and the number of words contained was counted automatically. The first 100 words on the first page of the forms were evaluated using the Gunning Fog, Flesch-Kincaid and Ateşman readability formulations. The rate of medical terms detected within these 100 words was determined as a percentage (%).

Results: Different consent forms obtained from 45 anaesthesia departments were assessed using various readability formulas. According to the Gunning Fog index, the readability of the consent forms obtained from MOH education and research and public hospitals was relatively low. The Flesch-Kincaid index measured very low levels of readability in all institutions. The Ateşman index displayed very low readability levels for the consent forms used in university hospitals, and low levels in other institutions.

Conclusion: We conclude that the readability of the anaesthesia informed consent forms is low. The level of education in our country should be considered in the preparation of anaesthesia consent forms. We believe that physicians should pay more attention to this medical and legal issue.

EISSN 2667-6370