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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 407-414

Knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions toward informed consent and its implications among dental professionals in South India: A cross-sectional study


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences, Gannavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Dr. Sudha and Nageswara Rao Siddhartha Institute of Dental Sciences, Gannavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Department of Orthopaedics, Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences, Gannavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Kuna Vandana
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. Sudha and Nageswara Rao Siddhartha Institute of Dental Sciences, Gannavaram, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_10_21

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Objectives: To assess the current knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions toward informed consent and legal conflicts among Dental professionals in the Dental colleges of South India. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out at eight dental teaching institutions of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. A structured close-ended questionnaire was used to obtain data from the dentists, including the postgraduates and teaching staff. The aim was to assess the knowledge on informed consent in the routine practice of dentistry. Results: A total of 450 professionals were approached; among them, 368 were included in the survey. Independent variables such as age, gender, clinical practice experience, and levels of designation were assessed for association with perceptions of informed consent. Majority of the study population felt the necessity of informed consent in daily dental practices. In addition, 75.2% of the professional population were aware of legal conflicts as they reported that if a doctor working in an institution does fault in providing treatment services without consent, then they will be liable before the law. There was a statistically significant association between the age of the study population and their attitude toward the necessity of consent in treating patients (P = 0.03). Similarly, there were variations in the opinions of gender toward the nature of informed consent, which was proved to be statistically significant (P = 0.027). Moreover, clinical practice experience was significantly associated with knowledge of informed consent evolution and types of consent required for a child between 7 and 17 years of age (P = 0.002 and 0.028), respectively. Conclusion: About 86% of the surveyed dentists are aware of the importance of informed consent in practical dentistry and consider it as an ethical and legal obligation. Moreover, expressed consent is the preferred means of obtaining consent from patients for the most dental procedure. Majority (89%) of them responded that the questionnaire gave them additional information about lawsuits and preferred streamlining the process of informed consent through Institutional review boards to avoid legal conflicts.


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