Informed consent and nurses' roles: A survey of Indonesian practitioners

A.P. Susilo*, J. van Dalen, M.N. Chenault, A. Scherpbier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: In Southeast Asia, the process of obtaining informed consent is influenced by both culture and policy at the hospital and national level. Both physicians and nurses play vital roles in this process, but physicians influence the roles of nurses.

Objectives: Since the physicians and nurses often have different perspectives, it is important to investigate their views about the informed consent process and nurses' roles therein and whether there is a difference between ideal and experienced practice (reality), and whether this differs across hospitals.

Methods: A questionnaire was developed and a survey was conducted among physicians and nurses. Using exploratory factor analysis a three factor structure was determined: 'nurses' roles', 'barriers in informed consent', and 'adequacy of information'. Non-parametric tests were applied to compare nurses and physicians, and hospital setting.

Participants and research context: Responses were obtained from 129 physicians and 616 nurses from two Indonesian hospitals. Those hospitals differ in ownership, location, and size.

Ethical consideration: The study was reviewed by the hospital ethical committee. Participation was voluntary and confidentiality was ensured by keeping the responses anonymous.

Findings: Physicians and nurses differ significantly on all three factors. The scores reflecting disparity between ideal and reality regarding nurses' roles varied across professions, while barriers in informed consent differed between hospitals.

Discussion: The differences between ideal and reality indicated that improvement in the informed consent process and nurses' roles therein is called for. Varying views between physicians and nurses on nurses' roles may hinder collaboration. The differences between hospital settings showed interventions may have to be customized for different settings.

Conclusion: Views on nurses' roles vary across professions. Views on barriers in informed consent vary across hospitals. Therefore interprofessional education is needed to promote interprofessional collaboration and intervention to improve informed consent practice should be tailored to the hospital context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-694
Number of pages11
JournalNursing Ethics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Informed consent
  • interprofessional practice
  • nurse
  • role
  • surveys

Cite this