Standardised SACT consent forms improve patient understanding of their treatment intent


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Iman Ahmed Ainuddin1,Sally Clive2
1University of Edinburgh,2Edinburgh Cancer Centre

Abstract

Background

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) regimen-specific Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) consent forms are now available online and widely used by oncologists across England. The impact of using a standardised approach to SACT consent has never been assessed. The South East Scotland SACT consent form was adapted in 2015 after an audit demonstrated areas for improvement. This audit assesses the impact of these changes on the SACT consent process and of the patient experience of consent and their understanding of the aims of cancer treatment.

Method

Patients undergoing SACT in the Edinburgh Cancer Centre completed questionnaires on SACT consent. Data was also extracted from their consent forms and notes. Inconsistencies were clarified through structured patient interviews. The results were compared to data from the 2015 consent audit.

Results

100 patients completed questionnaires in 2019 (85 in 2015). In both cohorts compliance to each item of consent in CEL30(2012) was over 85%. There was slight improvement in most parameters examined with a significant improvement in patient understanding of the aims of their treatment in 2019 with use of improved standardised SACT consent forms (Table 1).

Table 1

 

2015 (n=85)

2019 (n=100)

Significance (p)

Remember being given written information

89%

93%

0.34

Know can stop SACT any time

85%

91%

0.21

Same treatment goals as consultant

93%

99%

0.03

Personal priorities considered

85%

90%

0.30

Lay terminology used to describe aims

38%

93%

<0.0001

Patient understands aims of SACT

70%

82%

0.06

Patient understands aims of palliative SACT

62% (n=45)

81% (n=64)

0.03

Conclusion

This audit demonstrates for the first time that use of standardised SACT consent forms improves patient understanding of their proposed treatment. The comprehensive CRUK SACT consent forms are being adapted for use in Scotland. This audit should be repeated once these are in use.