British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 21 Issue 4 (November 1982), Pages 239-358

Recognition of patients' worries by nurses and by other patients (pages 255-261)

Previous studies indicate that patients' worries may not be communicated very effectively to hospital staff. The current study examines whether other patients know more about surgical patients' worries than the nursing staff on the ward. For each patient, the patient, a nurse and a colleague‐patient completed a checklist to describe the patients' worries. The results showed that the other patients were more accurate than the nurses both in terms of overall accuracy and, more tentatively, using signal detection theory estimates of sensitivity. As in a previous study, the nurses overestimated the number of worries; the overestimation did not appear to be related to the content of the items nor was it due to patients' underreporting of problems. Relationships between patients, both on the surgical ward and in self‐help groups, are discussed.

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