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Poster Abstracts

A novel model of consent to promote embodied safety and trust between care providers and patients

Author:

Kyra Nabeta

Marine Ornithology, CA
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Abstract

Introduction

High-quality people-centred care involves creating an environment in which patients feel seen, heard, and cared for. While these soft skills aren’t taught formally, they are integral to the patient experience and recovery process. Research into emotional health and embodiment is evolving and has attracted attention in the mental health field, but it remains obscure in Western medicine. Here, I propose a novel model of consent that encourages health care practitioners (HCPs) to recognize and clarify the power dynamics at play during treatment.

Aims Objectives Theory or Methods

For a given an action, Dr. Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent model asks FOR whom it is happening (rather than TO whom). The model identifies and explores the nuances of the different roles involved: giver vs. receiver; performer of the action vs. person on whom it is performed. By naming and discussing these roles at the outset of treatment, both the HCP and patient are empowered to notice, trust, value, and communicate what they feel as treatment progresses and to voice limits and boundaries, thus ensuring ongoing emotional safety and trust on both sides.

Highlights or Results or Key Findings

Dr. Martin’s model is widely acclaimed in trauma-informed sexological bodywork but has not yet been formally investigated in depth or adapted for the health care field due to the limits of embodiment research methods and to the stigma surrounding its current usage. Yet, the principles of frank discussion, plain language, regular check-ins, and openness to change are foundational for involving patients in their own care regimens, as they promote feelings of inclusion, engagement, safety, and trust in the care provider. As HCPs learn to initiate these discussions, they become role models to both patients and colleagues for voicing concerns at all levels of care.

Conclusions

By re-framing how consent is requested and ensuring that everyone involved is clear, at all times, about what is happening and why, both patients and practitioners can avoid overstepping boundaries and leaving patients feeling disempowered, helpless, and violated.

Implications for applicability/transferability sustainability and limitations

This training will have profound impacts on how HCPs view their personal and professional relationships, improving self-awareness, self-care practices, and thus resilience. This model is relatively easy to teach but requires a degree of openness on the part of the medical community to unconventional and counter-normative ways of relating.

How to Cite: Nabeta K. A novel model of consent to promote embodied safety and trust between care providers and patients. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S2):205. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC21342
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Published on 16 May 2022.

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