Older Patients' Understanding of Medical Information in the Emergency Department

S. Deborah Majerovitz, Michele G. Greene, Ronald D. Adelman, Gerald M. Brody, Kathleen Leber, Susan W. Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


This exploratory study examined older patients' and families' understanding of medical information provided in the emergency department. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 71 older patients and 32 family members in the emergency department of a suburban teaching hospital. The majority of patients and family members had an incomplete understanding of medical information. Although patients expressed a desire for complete information, most did not voice complaints about their current experience. The majority of family members expressed a desire for more information or greater access to the patient. These data suggest that older patients and families do not adequately understand information provided in the emergency department. Future research must identify the source of communication problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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