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Clin Rehabil. 1998 Aug;12(4):328-37.

The views of therapists on the use of a patient-held record in the care of stroke patients.

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Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, UK.



To explore the views of therapists working with stroke patients on the use of a patient-held record (PHR) for stroke patients. A PHR was developed in the form of a pocket-sized booklet (21 cm x 14.5 cm) in which staff recorded information relating to the patient's management. The aim of the PHR was to facilitate communication and involve patients more directly in their care.


Six semi-structured group interviews were conducted with therapists (25 in total) from one inner city hospital.


The following themes emerged from the content analysis: (1) Therapists were supportive of plans for a PHR, citing the benefits of greater patient involvement. (2) However, they questioned its feasibility, in particular the issue of patient responsibility and its use with the cognitively impaired. (3) They also questioned its ability to facilitate communication among health professionals because of existing differences in perspectives. (4) These therapists revealed concerns about the effect that information may have on patients. (5) They also raised practical issues about finding the time to make entries, wording and content of entries in the PHR.


Responsibility for the PHR may enhance patients' understanding and involvement in their care, yet ownership alone does not guarantee the confidence needed to encourage dialogue between patients and care providers. Furthermore, it is doubtful whether a PHR can hope to overcome the fundamental differences in the philosophies of care which the therapists reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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