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Medical Jargons as Hindrance in Doctor–Patient Communication


This study assessed patients’ understanding of the jargons used by cardiologists during consultation, and to compare the knowledge of these jargons across three patient age groups. The Cardiac Jargons Comprehension Schedule (CAJCOMPS), consisting of 11 cardiac jargons, was developed and validated. It was found that the proportion of participants who were aware of the jargons ranged between 10 % and 96 % across the 11 jargons; however, mean scores across the jargons ranged only between 0 and 2 on a scale of 0–5. Significant effect of age on the overall level of understanding of jargons and of specific jargons (Angina, Heart Failure, Palpitation and Treadmill Test) was noted. Participants of the youngest age group (18–45 years) had reported significantly lower level of knowledge of jargons than their the older age counterparts (46–60 and 61–80 years). Cardiologists’ communication involving jargons is, thus, not adequately reaching patients, young adults in particular.

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We extend our thanks to the doctors and the hospital staff for their cooperation.

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Correspondence to Marlyn Thomas.

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Thomas, M., Hariharan, M., Rana, S. et al. Medical Jargons as Hindrance in Doctor–Patient Communication. Psychol Stud 59, 394–400 (2014).

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  • Age
  • Cardiology
  • Health communication
  • Jargon
  • Patient awareness