Byrne, Geraldine and Heyman, Bob (1997) Patient anxiety in the accident and emergency department. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 6 (4). pp. 289-295. ISSN 0962-1067

Structured interviews were carried out with a sample of 96 patients to identify the sources of anxiety for patients in the accident and emergency (A & E) department.
•Only two patients reported that they were not at all anxious about any aspect of being in A & E. The average number of anxieties reported was 69.
•The most frequently reported anxieties were 'not being able to carry on your usual activities', 'not knowing what will happen to you in the department', 'having to undergo an uncomfortable procedure', 'feeling pain' and 'not knowing what is wrong'.
•The findings indicate that patients were as concerned with psychological and social aspects associated with admission as they were about psysical factors.
•The authors suggest that it is essential for nurses in A & E to assess patients holistically and consider their psychological state and social circumstances as well as their physical condition. There is also a need for closer links to be developed between accident and emergency departments and other community health agencies and for more emphasis to be placed on referral to other bodies.

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