This study explored chiropractic patients' perceptions of exchanging risk information during informed consent and compared them with the legal perspective of the informed consent process.
Interviews were conducted with 26 participants, recruited from chiropractic clinics. Transcripts were analysed using a constant comparative method of analysis.
Participants experienced informed consent as an on-going process where risk information informed their decisions to receive treatment throughout four distinct stages. In the first stage, information acquired prior to arriving at the clinic for treatment shaped perceptions of risk. In stage two, participants assessed the perceived competence of their practitioners. Participants then signed the consent form and discussed the risks with their practitioners. Finally, they communicated with their practitioners during treatment to ensure their pain threshold was not crossed.
These findings suggest that chiropractic patients perceive informed consent as a process involving communication with their practitioners, and that it is possible to educate patients about the risks associated with treatment while satisfying the legal requirements of informed consent.
- Informed consent;
- Spinal manipulation;
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