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Informed consent in gynecologic surgery

Overcarsh, Patricia; Arvizo, Cynthia; Harvey, Lara

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: April 30, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000550

Purpose of review Informed consent is frequently used interchangeably with obtaining a signature on a form. This oversimplification shifts the value from the process of informed consent to the documentation. This review focuses on the recommended components of the consent process, barriers encountered, factors influencing patient satisfaction, attempts to improve the consent practice, and considerations in special populations.

Recent findings The process of informed consent is key to promoting shared decision-making and patient autonomy. Several barriers exist to providing optimal consent including time constraints as well as educational, cultural, and language barriers. Innovative approaches such as audiovisual aids show promise in overcoming barriers and improving the consent process.

Summary Patients seek expertise and knowledge to aid in making decisions that align with their care goals. Providers have an obligation to provide individualized and accessible counseling. Ongoing research is needed to optimize this process.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence to Patricia Overcarsh, MD, MPH, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1161 21st Avenue South, B-1100 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232, USA. Tel: +1 615 343 6710; fax: +1 615 343 8881; e-mail:

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