Patient and Staff Perceptions of Cancer Patients' Psychological Concerns and Needs
Authors: Lampic, Claudia; Sjödén, Per-Olow
Source: Acta Oncologica, Volume 39, Number 1, 10 April 2000 , pp. 9-22(14)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:This paper reviews patient and staff perceptions of cancer patients' psychological concerns and needs. An extensive literature search resulted in a total of 22 studies. Six of these concern staff ratings of hypothetical 'average' patients, and the main findings are that staff and patients are in relative agreement about the overall spectrum of concerns relevant to cancer patients, but less so regarding which concerns are of most importance to patients. Sixteen studies compare patient ratings with staff ratings of individual patients. The overall pattern of results indicates that staff tend to overestimate patient anxiety and emotional distress and show limited ability adequately to assess patient distress in terms of rank. Staff were able correctly to detect a majority of anxiety 'cases', while the identification of depression was less accurate. High detection rates for anxiety were obtained partly at the expense of staff also presuming anxiety in many non-distressed patients. Generally, there was better patient-staff agreement on the absence than the presence of patient anxiety and depression. Many studies were found to have serious methodological deficiencies and there is no clear evidence that patient-staff agreement is markedly better in studies fulfilling important methodological criteria. Several explanations of patient-staff discrepancies are discussed. Future research should be aimed at critically testing possible reasons for patient-staff disagreement and at investigating the consequences of such discrepancies.
Document Type: Review Article
Affiliations: Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Section of Caring Sciences, Uppsala Science Park, S-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden
Publication date: 10 April 2000