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Information needs

Kinnersley and others 2007

Patients (or healthcare consumers) often report that they want more information from clinicians (doctors and nurses) or that the information they do receive does not address their particular needs (Boberg 2003; Boreham 1978; Jenkins 2001). External observation confirms that the amount of information usually given to patients is small (Ford 1995; Maguire 1996; Svarstad 1974; Waitzkin 1984). Patients have varying information needs and clinicians need to tailor the information given accordingly (Leydon 2000; Meredith 1996). Providing information is important because it is a determinant of patient satisfaction, compliance, recall and understanding (Deyo 1986; Faden 1981; Hall 1988). It has also been associated with symptom resolution, reduced emotional distress, physiological status, use of analgesia, length of hospital stay and quality of life (Egbert 1964; Fallowfield 1994; Kaplan 1989; Roter 1995; Stewart 1995). Failure to give information, or the provision of unwanted information, can reduce the benefits of the consultation or can cause negative outcomes (Fallowfield 1999).

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