Letters

Telling patients with schizophrenia their diagnosis

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7257.384/a (Published 05 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:384

Patients should be informed about their illness

  1. R A Clafferty, consultant psychiatrist (r.clafferty@virgin.net),
  2. Elaine McCabe, staff grade psychiatrist,
  3. Keith W Brown, consultant psychiatrist
  1. Forth Valley Primary Care NHS Trust, Westbank Clinic, Falkirk, Scotland FK1 5RQ
  2. Keyham, Leicestershire LE7 9JS

    EDITOR—McGrath and Emmerson's review of the treatment of schizophrenia has ignited a lively exchange of views in the BMJ, many of which cast doubt on the concept of schizophrenia or the value of giving this diagnosis.1 2

    A recent survey posted to all consultant psychiatrists in Scotland in May 1997 determined 211 consultant psychiatrists' views on whether to tell patients with schizophrenia their diagnosis. It showed that 200 (95%) respondents agreed that the consultant psychiatrist was the best person to do this, but only 124 (59%) stated that it was their usual practice to tell patients their diagnosis after the first established episode, and only 187 (89%) said it was their usual practice to tell patients their diagnosis after a second or subsequent episode …

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