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Receiving difficult news: Views of patients in an inpatient setting


Cleary, M and Hunt, GE and Escott, P and Walter, G, Receiving difficult news: Views of patients in an inpatient setting, Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 48, (6) pp. 40-8. ISSN 0279-3695 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.3928/02793695-20100504-01


For this quantitative study, a cross-sectional design was used to assess patients' ratings regarding receiving difficult news pertaining to their psychiatric illness, such as deleterious lifestyle consequences and lifelong medications. One hundred inpatients were interviewed and completed the survey. Nearly all agreed they had a legal or moral right to information about their diagnosis, and most agreed they should be told their diagnosis. The majority believed the doctor was the best person to tell them their diagnosis, and more than half indicated that not providing a diagnosis was more concerning than be ing told. Approximately two fifths of patients indicated they would prefer to hear difficult news in the presence of key family members or over several sessions, and more than three quarters thought providing hope, regardless of circumstances, was important. The highest response rates were for staff to provide accurate and reliable information, be honest and answer patients' questions, and inform patients of their treatment options and side effects. These results indicate the importance of communicating accurate and timely information to patients in an empathic and understanding manner.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:delivering difficult news, mental health
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
ID Code:108374
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-04-19
Last Modified:2016-11-15

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