Exploring the information needs of patients with unexplained chest pain
Ingrid Ølfarnes Røysland,1 Elin Dysvik,1 Bodil Furnes,1 Febe Friberg1,2
1Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway; 2Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
Background: Unexplained chest pain is a common condition. Despite negative findings, a large number of these patients will continue to suffer from chest pain after being investigated at cardiac outpatient clinics. Unexplained chest pain covers many possible complaints, and diagnosing a single cause for a patient's pain is often described as difficult, as there are a number of possible factors that can contribute to the condition. For health professionals to meet patients' expectations, they must know more about the information needs of patients with unexplained chest pain. The aim of this study was to describe information needs among patients with unexplained chest pain and how those needs were met by health professionals during medical consultations.
Methods: A qualitative design was used. Data were collected by means of seven individual interviews with four women and three men, aged 21–62 years. The interviews were analyzed by qualitative content analysis.
Results: The results are described in two subthemes, ie, "experiencing lack of focus on individual problems" and "experiencing unanswered questions". These were further abstracted under the main theme "experiencing unmet information needs".
Conclusion: Existing models of consultations should be complemented to include a person-centered approach to meeting patients' beliefs, perceptions, and expressions of feelings related to experiencing unexplained chest pain. This is in line with a biopsychosocial model with active patient participation, shared decision-making, and a multidisciplinary approach. Such an approach is directly within the domain of nursing, and aims to take into account patient experience.
Keywords: information needs, qualitative research, unexplained chest pain
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