Developing World Bioethics 15 (3):172-178 (2015)

Patients have the right to refuse their treatment; however, this refusal should be informed. We evaluated the quality of the informed refusal process in Iranian hospitals from patients' viewpoints. To this end, we developed a questionnaire that covered four key aspects of the informed refusal process including; information disclosure, voluntariness, comprehension, and provider-patient relationship. A total of 284 patients who refused their treatment from 12 teaching hospitals in the Isfahan Province, Iran, were recruited and surveyed to produce a convenience sample. Patients' perceptions about the informed refusal process were scored and the mean scores of the four components were calculated. The findings showed that the practice of information disclosure was perceived to be moderate, however, comprehension, voluntariness and provider–patient relationship were perceived to be relatively good. We found that patients, who refused their care before any treatment had commenced, reported a lower quality of information disclosure and voluntariness. Patients informed by nurses and those who had not had a previous related admission, reported lower scores for comprehension and relationship. In conclusion, the process of obtaining informed refusal was relatively satisfactory except for levels of information disclosure. To improve current practices, Iranian patients need to be better informed about; different treatment options, consequences of treatment refusal, costs of not continuing treatment and follow-ups after refusal. Developing more informative refusal forms is needed
Keywords Iran  shared decision‐making  treatment refusal  discharge against medical advice  informed refusal
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DOI 10.1111/dewb.12054
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References found in this work BETA

Depression and Competence to Refuse Psychiatric Treatment.A. Rudnick - 2002 - Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (3):151-155.
The Patient Who Refuses Nursing Care.H. Aveyard - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (4):346-350.
Personal Values and Cancer Treatment Refusal.M. Huijer - 2000 - Journal of Medical Ethics 26 (5):358-362.

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