Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Health Behav. 2007 Sep-Oct;31 Suppl 1:S85-95.

Babel babble: physicians' use of unclarified medical jargon with patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco/ Center for Vulnerable Populationns, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA, USA. Cesar.Castro@ucsf.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe physicians use of jargon with diabetes patients with limited health literacy.

METHODS:

We audiotaped 74 outpatient encounters and coded unclarified jargon, assigning each term a clinical function. We administered telephone questionnaires to determine if comprehension of diabetes-related jargon varied with context.

RESULTS:

Eighty-one percent of encounters contained at least one unclarified jargon term (mean of 4/visit). Thirty-seven percent of jargon use occurred when making recommendations, and 29% when providing health education. Patient comprehension rates were generally low and never reached adequate thresholds.

CONCLUSION:

Physicians caring for patients with limited health literacy employ unclarified jargon during key clinical functions.

PMID:
17931142
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk