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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


FERNANDEZ CHAVES, José Manuel. Understanding of informed consent by patients at the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Costa Rica. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2023, vol.40, n.1, pp.29-39. ISSN 2215-5287.


Informed consent is the result of the evolution of the relationship between health professionals and their patients or users where the principle of autonomy is above anything else. There are many articles on informed consent but none of the studies found assessed whether patients really understand it. The objective of this research was to determine the level of understanding of informed consent by the patients of the Clinic of Oral Surgery of the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Costa Rica, in the period August to September 2022, by means of a questionnaire that would allow correlating the understanding with the level of schooling.

Materials and methods:

A questionnaire was administered to 100 people divided into two parts, one on sociodemographic data and the other to establish the understanding of informed consent and to determine whether the level of schooling was related to the understanding of the same.


The group between 20 and 30 years of age was the largest, of these 51% had university studies, and although the majority (98%) referred to knowing the concept of informed consent, only 33% obtained the correct answers to the clinical questions asked.


Even though patients refer to knowing what informed consent is the results suggest an unclear understanding of important concepts such as complications or immediate or late adverse reactions produced by the effect of dental treatments or surgical procedures.

Keywords : Informed consent; autonomy; odontology; comprehension.

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