The relationship between knowledge and perception of patients regarding informed consent in surgical procedures in Rwanda

Felix Mbonera, Geldine Chironda


Background: Lack of patient’s knowledge on surgical informed consent increase the likelihood of a patient safety incident, patient anxiety and result in postoperative dissatisfaction. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between knowledge and perception of patients regarding informed consent process for surgical procedures.

Methods: A descriptive correlation design was conducted. Using Probability Stratified sampling technique, a sample size of 147 surgical patients was selected. Data was collected using an interview schedule and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Eighty-three per cent (83%) had low knowledge, 12% moderate and only 5% had high level of knowledge. Twenty-three per cent (23%) had low perception, 50% moderate and 31% had high level of perception towards informed consent for surgical procedures. A weak significant positive correlation [(r = 0.487), (-1≤ r ≤1), p<0.00)] between patient’s knowledge and perception towards informed consent for surgical procedures was found with knowledge contributing variance 23.7% (R Square=0.237).

Conclusions: This study revealed that the patient’s knowledge towards informed consent for surgical procedures is limited and their perception towards informed consent is poor. Therefore, there is need to devise strategies that increases the knowledge levels of patients so that they will be able to positively alter their perceptions towards informed consent of surgical procedures.


Informed consent process, Knowledge, Perceptions, Surgical procedures

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