Telling patients there is nothing wrong

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7066.1210 (Published 09 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1210

Randomised controlled trials are needed

  1. Louise Howard
  1. Senior registrar in psychiatry Maudsley Hospital, London SE5 8AZ

    EDITOR,—It is still unclear from the literature whether investigative tests reassure patients with anxieties about the presence of serious disease.1 2 Ray Fitzpatrick discusses some of the possible reasons for this, including psychiatric morbidity, poor communication, and the “wild card effects” mentioned in the study by I G McDonald and colleagues.3

    Other psychological processes in patients are also likely to influence outcome: …

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