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Value of the timing of informing the emergency department patients on cardiac test results: a randomized controlled study

Serinken, Mustafaa; Zencir, Mehmetb; Karcioglu, Ozgurc; Sener, Serkand; Turkcuer, Ibrahima

European Journal of Emergency Medicine: April 2009 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 74-79
doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e32830a9957

Objective This study is designed to investigate the role of written information, and the value of its timing, provided to Emergency Department (ED) patients regarding cardiac enzyme tests (CET), on their personal concerns about their health status and their discussions with the emergency physicians as to their normal health status post-test.

Materials and methods This is a prospective randomized controlled study. All consecutive patients used for this study were admitted to the university-based ED within the 6-month study period with the presenting chief complaint of atypical chest pain, which was considered as the presumptive diagnosis. CET was ordered to rule out acute coronary syndromes, and these patients were enrolled into the study groups.

Results The study sample included 523 patients whose CET were ordered and who were therefore eligible for the study. Three groups were similar in terms of persuasion and anxiety scores. Groups, which were informed about the test by leaflet had lower anxiety and persuasion scores. The lowest anxiety scores were found especially in the group in which the information was given before CET was drawn (P<0.001). The effects of monitoring on patients and providing information with a leaflet were found significant on reassurance scores (P=0.006, P<0.001). Reassurance scores of the patients on whom at least one of the procedures, for example, monitoring, more than one electrocardiogram and chest radiograph, had been carried out, showed significant difference compared with those on whom neither of these procedures had been done during the ED observation (P=0.001).

Conclusion Written information provided to patients undergoing cardiac tests in ED population was found effective on anxiety and persuasion scores.

Departments of aEmergency Medicine

bPublic Health, Pamukkale University, School of Medicine, Denizli

cDepartment of Emergency Medicine, Bakirkoy Dr Sadi Konuk Research and Training Hospital, Istanbul

dDepartment of Emergency Medicine, Acibadem Bursa Hospital, Bursa, Turkey

Correspondence to Mustafa Serinken, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Pamukkale University Medical School, Denizli 20070, Turkey

Tel: +90 505 2991497; fax: +90 258 2134922; e-mail:

Received 2 January 2008 Accepted 25 May 2008

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.