Cancer patient and staff ratings of the importance of caring behaviours and their relations to patient anxiety and depression

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Abstract

Cancer patient and staff ratings of the importance of caring behaviours and their relations to patient anxiety and depression

Patient and staff ratings of the importance of caring behaviours (Caring Assessment Instrument, CARE-Q) were studied and related to ratings of patient levels of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) in 53 cancer patient-staff dyads. Both groups perceived anticipatory and comforting behaviours to be among the three most important. Patients considered staff explanation and facilitation as well as anticipation to be more important than did staff. Staff rated accessibility and comforting as more important than did patients. Patient and staff ratings of the importance of staff accessibility were negatively correlated. Thus, patient and staff did not agree strongly on the importance of several types of caring behaviours. Neither patient nor staff ratings of the importance of caring behaviours were associated with their ratings of the levels of anxiety or depression of specific patients. The results suggest that patient-staff communication requires specific knowledge and skills to make staff accurately judge what is important in making patients feel cared for.

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