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Perceptions of Caring Among Patients With Cancer and Their Staff: DIFFERENCES AND DISAGREEMENTS

Widmark–Petersson, Viveca R.N.T, Ph.D.; von Essen, Louise Ph.D.; Sjödén, Per–Olow Ph.D.

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The current dyadic study investigated (a) patient and staff perceptions of the importance of caring behaviors, patient health, quality of life, and greatest health-related concern; (b) patient anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale); and (c) staff views of patient perceptions of the importance of caring behaviors. The study included 21 matched patient–staff dyads. Three questionnaire versions of the Caring Assessment Instrument were used to tap patient (CARE-P) and staff (CARE-S) perceptions, and staff views of patient perceptions (CARE-SP). There were no correlations between patient and staff perceptions of the importance of caring behaviors, patient health, quality of life, or greatest health-related concern. However, staff views of patient perceptions about the importance of caring behaviors were strongly correlated with their own perceptions. Staff ratings of the importance of caring behaviors were not related to patient anxiety, depression, health, and/or quality of life. Patient depression was negatively correlated with three CARE-Q subscales. The results indicate that staff are not successful in judging the importance of caring behaviors, health, quality of life, and greatest health-related concern for individual patients. The major implication is that staff must be open to patient perceptions of what caring behaviors are important, and must validate their own perceptions of patient needs and concerns.

Viveca Widmark–Petersson is a Senior Lecturer, Section of Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Louise von Essen is a Researcher, Section of Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Per–Olow Sjödén is a Professor, Section of Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Viveca Widmark–Petersson, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Section of Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, SE-75183 Uppsala, Sweden.

Accepted for publication May 27, 1999.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.