HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Health phone lines hampered by public's poor understanding of the term 'unconscious'

Public understanding of medical terminology: non-English speakers may not receive optimal care 2000; 17:119-21

The public's poor understanding of medical terms may be a considerable drawback when using health phone lines, such as NHS Direct, out of hours call centres,and ambulance services.

A study in the Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine shows that one in two people did not always understand the meaning of the term "unconscious." Seven hundred patients in an inner city accident and emergency department were asked seven questions relating to loss of consciousness. These included whether people who are unconscious can stand up, breathe, talk, and hear. Most (83%) of those questioned said that English was their first language.

More than 80 per cent of respondents incorrectly answered the questions relating to whether someone who was unconscious would have their eyes open and would be able to hear. Around one in four answered one of the questions incorrectly. Those whose first language was not English were more likely to give the wrong answers, but understanding of the term among native English speakers was still poor, say the authors.

The ability to understand what is meant by the term unconscious is important, say the authors, especially when using services accessed by phone. These rely on correctly determining key facts from the caller. Level of consciousness is an important indicator of the severity of head injury and a range of other illnesses. And loss of consciousness is one of the criteria used to judge whether a patient merits a rapid response by an ambulance. The findings show the importance of using simple lay, rather than medical, terms, when talking to patients, conclude the authors.

The decision to send a patient for x-ray or even to admit them partly depends on information regarding consciousness levels, and so a misunderstanding could have serious implications, conclude the authors.


'"/>

Contact: BMA Press Office
pressoffice@bma.org.uk
44-207-383-6254
BMJ-British Medical Journal
23-Feb-2000


Page: 1

Related medicine news :

1. Mailman School of Public Health receives Manhattan Tobacco Cessation Center grant
2. Liverpool to lead 20M Department of Health initiative to develop medicines for children
3. Health care report cards may increase racial/ethnic disparities in bypass operations
4. 2005 Behavioral Sciences & Health Services Research Award
5. Statement on the findings of the Womens Health Study
6. Bone density returns when teens stop using Depo Provera, Group Health study finds
7. Mailman School of Public Health researchers develop infectious disease diagnostic tool
8. Health initiatives can help peace building in the Middle East
9. Study naming hospitals in top 5% for clinical quality released by HealthGrades
10. RelayHealth selected by Columbia University to link doctors and patients online
11. Health report-card fears make doctors forgo potential life-saving heart treatment

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/30/2020)... ... 29, 2020 , ... Segal Trials, a privately held network ... commemorated May, Mental Health Awareness Month, and May 20th, Clinical Trial Awareness Day, ... include their #StayConnected video series raising awareness of clinical trials and offering mental ...
(Date:5/28/2020)... ... May 28, 2020 , ... ... is joining the clinically integrated network (CIN) and the group purchasing organization run ... Cardiovascular Institute to establish a heart failure program at Mon Health Medical Center. ...
(Date:5/27/2020)... ... May 27, 2020 , ... ... is now manufacturing face shields to be used as personal protective equipment ... These face shields are single use, made to be worn by frontline healthcare ...
(Date:5/27/2020)... ... May 27, 2020 , ... ... Pollack, University of Washington Professor of Bioengineering, Founder & Editor of scientific ... & Vapor ( https://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Phase-Water-Beyond-Liquid-ebook/dp/B00N2ASKF2 ) , https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/123059/the-fourth-phase-of-water , * ...
(Date:5/26/2020)... ... May 26, 2020 , ... Today TRC Companies (“ TRC ”) announced ... that will help business owners and leaders assess whether their organizations are prepared to ... offering from TRC is intended to assist business leaders evaluate their readiness relative to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/2/2020)... ... June 02, 2020 , ... ... announced today that in response to COVID-19 it is working with its corporate ... and on-site solutions, reimbursements, and a host of digital resources. Harmony’s leadership team ...
(Date:5/30/2020)... ... May 29, 2020 , ... ... mobile and web based solution People1 Care to help organizations safely ... transition into the 'new normal’ through daily wellness screenings, social distancing support, and ...
(Date:5/30/2020)... ... 2020 , ... During a crisis, the platitude “stay strong” is well-intended, but ... developed and strengthened through hardship. Recent research conducted by PsychTests.com reveals that ... in order to stay strong in the face of adversity. It seems that resilience ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: