The role of a telephone helpline in provision of patient information

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Abstract

Aim

To explore why individuals contacted a telephone helpline specialising in neurological conditions and their level of satisfaction with the service.

Method

Callers were asked to complete a confidential postal questionnaire.

Results

The majority of callers found the helpline useful and all respondents would use the service again. The main reasons for contacting the helpline were to obtain medical information or request an information booklet. Health professionals and the internet were the other main sources of information and support.

Conclusion

A telephone helpline is important in the provision of information and support on neurological conditions. Through close collaboration, the NHS and voluntary organisations can fulfil many of the needs of patients with complex medical conditions.

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