Patients' informational needs and information received do not correspond in hospital

Riitta Suhonen, Heljä Nenonen, Arja Laukka, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives. This study describes and compares the information patients want with the information they receive and examines whether this varies between patients. Background. Patient information during hospitalization has received increasing attention. Previous studies, however, have identified problems of inadequate or insufficient information from a patient's point of view. Design. Descriptive, survey design with questionnaires. Methods. The categorical data were collected by specifically designed questionnaires from adult patients (n = 928) on discharge from one Finnish hospital. The data were analysed statistically using descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests (Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis, McNemar and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks tests). Results. Patients attached great importance to information on illness and treatment, and information in this area was provided quite satisfactorily. Less importance was attached to information regarding patient's daily management of illness, such as aftercare, prognosis and patients' rights and less information was reportedly provided. Female gender was systematically associated with attaching greater importance to information and to better evaluations of informational areas. Conclusions. Patients informational needs and the information received from staff did not correspond. The findings confirm the importance of nurses' roles in assessing patients' informational needs to tailor and provide explicit and relevant information to satisfy patients' informational needs. Relevance to clinical practice. More emphasis should be put on developing methods to ascertain patients' informational needs, to evaluate the content of information and to develop tailored information packages for different patients. This can be done by empowering and helping patients to access and understand relevant and appropriate information, for example, by Web-based information systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1176
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospital patients
  • Informational needs
  • Nurses
  • Nursing
  • Patient information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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