Informed consent in orthodontics: experiences of Nigerian patients

No Thumbnail Available
Onyeaso, C.O.
Utomi, I.L.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Greek Orthodontic Society
AIM: The adequacy of information comprehension by medical and dental patients during informed consent process has been a source of concern to health care providers globally. The objective of this study was to evaluate Nigerian orthodontic patients’ experiences with informed consent. DESIGN: Questionnaire-based, cross-sectional and prospective study. SETTING: Child Oral Health Department, University College Hospital, Ibadan and the Child Dental Health Department, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Information was gathered from the orthodontic patients receiving treatment at the two referral orthodontic centers in Nigeria concerning their experiences about several aspects of informed consent in orthodontics. In all, 103 patients – 77 (74.8%) females and 26 (25.2) males participated in the study. Their ages ranged from 7 to 40 years (mean age: 15.89 ± 8.4). Descriptive statistics and chi-square statistic were applied in analyzing the data. RESULTS: Fifty-nine patients (57.3%) claimed they received verbal explanations from their orthodontists while 38 (36.9%) claimed they had written and verbal explanations. Although 40 (38.8%) accepted being informed of the possible risks associated with orthodontic treatment, only 27 (26.3%) were able to recall some. Twenty-six (25.2%) could not indicate any of their responsibilities during the treatment, 68 (66%) agreed that their orthodontists informed them of the possible causes of their mal-occlusions, 24 (23.3%) agreed that they were informed of the possible treatment alternatives and87 (84.5%) accepted being told of the possible treatment duration. Seventy-nine (76.7%) claimed they asked questions concerning the treatment during the decision-making process. Generally, 55(53.4%) were satisfied with the information they received and 90 (87.3%) described the communication between them and their orthodontists as satisfactory / very satisfactory. CONCLUSIONS: Although a reasonable proportion of the patients indicated satisfaction with the communication between them and their orthodontists, many could not recall the risks associated with orthodontic treatment. Due to the possible medico-legal implications, patients should be educated more on the risks associated with orthodontic treatment.
Informed consent , Orthodontics , Orthodontics - Nigeria , Dental health
Onyeaso, C.O. & Utomi, I.L. (2007). Informed consent in orthodontics: experiences of Nigerian patients. Hellenic Orthodontic Review, 10(1), 20 - 39.