Research Article

Usefulness of letters from hospitals to general practitioners.

BMJ 1984; 288 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.288.6433.1813 (Published 16 June 1984) Cite this as: BMJ 1984;288:1813
  1. W Bado,
  2. C J Williams

    Abstract

    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.