EDWIN E. FERGUSON, M.D.
FERGUSON EE. Charts and Patients' Fears. Ann Intern Med. 1977;87:380. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-87-3-380_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(3):380.
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To the editor: I write about the study reported by Stevens, Stagg, and Mackay, "What Happens When Hospitalized Patients See their Own Records" (Ann Intern Med 86:474-477, 1977).
Why did patients who expressed a fear of cancer express this fear only after looking at their chart? This phobia should have been elicited directly by the physician at an earlier bedside interview. Why was the obese patient surprised to find the word obesity in her chart, and why were the risks of diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease discussed with her only after she expressed surprise? Why was an Rh incompatibility
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