Patients’ knowledge and exercise of their rights at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

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Patients' knowledge and exercise of their rights at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Afr J Med Med Sci. 2013 Sep;42(3):253-60

Authors: Abolarin IO, Oyetunde MO

BACKGROUND: Patient rights have recently become the centre of national attention in the healthcare practice and Nigerians are becoming more aware of their rights. Despite this awareness, there is gap between their knowledge and ability to exercise their rights. The study was designed to assess University College Hospital patients' knowledge and exercise of their rights.
METHOD: This descriptive, cross-sectional study utilized a 45-item and self-administered questionnaire to gather information from three hundred and sixty (360) patients. The sample size was statistically determined and the respondents were randomly selected from Out-Patient Department. Ethical issues were duly considered. Data collection spanned four weeks. Data were analysed through the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version17.
RESULTS: Most of the respondents (94.2%) have good knowledge of rights and few (37.2%) of them denied being actively involved in making decisions on issues concerning their care. However, about half (50.8%) claimed they were not fully informed about the diagnosis and treatment plans regarding their health conditions. About 75.0% of the respondents reported that they would seek redress if their rights are infringed upon.
CONCLUSION: Patients have good knowledge of their rights, yet they are not fully exercising these rights. Patients should be encouraged to participate in the decision making process on their health issues because it is a channel towards achieving positive patient outcomes. Adequate information about care including the risks of procedures, cost implications of care and possible outcomes of care among others should be provided. Provision of more information by health care providers may enhance patients' decision making and exercise of rights.

PMID: 24579387 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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