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Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). Jun 16, 1984; 288(6433): 1813–1814.
PMCID: PMC1441860

Usefulness of letters from hospitals to general practitioners.


In an investigation of the communication between specialist hospital departments and general practitioners 97 general practitioners were asked to say how important selected items of information that the hospital could pass on would be for management of a patient receiving chemotherapy. In addition, the records of 68 patients were examined for coverage of these topics. General practitioners considered technical topics to be more important than social ones. Hospital letters covered technical topics well, apart from details of possible side effects, but did not do the same even for the two social topics that most doctors considered to be essential--namely, what patients have been told about their diagnosis and prognosis. Letters from hospitals to general practitioners cover technical topics well but should include more information relating to the social aspects of the patient's disease.

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Selected References

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  • Nerenz DR, Leventhal H, Love RR. Factors contributing to emotional distress during cancer chemotherapy. Cancer. 1982 Sep 1;50(5):1020–1027. [PubMed]
  • Long A, Atkins JB. Communications between general practitioners and consultants. Br Med J. 1974 Nov 23;4(5942):456–459. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.) are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group


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