Do doctors and nurses know what patients want after adverse events?

​Reactions of health care staff are crucial in ameliorating the psychological effects on the patient of an adverse event. Staff reactions may also determine whether a patient files a complaint and seeks compensation.

3. februar 2004

However, little is known about the extent to which doctors and nurses know what patients want after adverse events. Using focus group interviews and questionnaire surveys, this project has sought to uncover patient wants after an adverse event as well as what doctors and nurses believe that patients want.

Two questionnaires were developed directed at, respectively, patients and clinical staff. Parts of the two questionnaires contain matching sections. One of these sections ask, in the patient version, patients what they want if they were to fall victim of an adverse event and, in the staff version, doctors and nurses what they believe patients want in such situations.

This reciprocal technique allows us to assess the extent to which health care staff have valid beliefs about what patients want. Question items were divided into a group referring to reactions in connection with four specific events [not reviewed here] and another referring to reactions to non-specific adverse events. Response options were on a five-point Likert scale ranging from “extremely important” to “of very little or no importance”.