Time for clinicians to drop the jargon

Writing ‘ankle swelling’ instead of ‘peripheral oedema’, or ‘breathless while lying down’ instead of ‘orthopnoea’ in letters seen by patients improves their understanding of their illnesses and enhances their perception of the doctor’s professionalism, a New Zealand study has shown. The researchers from the medical outpatient service at Nelson Hospital asked 60 literate, adult patients ...

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