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Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Jon F. Schamber

Second Committee Member

Alan Ray

Abstract

This is a post-test only experimental design using an uncertainty reduction video to alleviate patient uncertainty, desire for information and increase self-concept to improve overall patient satisfaction with health care experience. The subjects were 80 cardiac consultation patients in a cardiology clinic in Northern California.

Forty people were randomly assigned to a control group and forty people to the experimental group. A scale was given to each group which measured the patients' level of self-concept, level of uncertainties (medical setting, relational and illness), and desire for information. The experimental group received an uncertainty reduction video prior to filling out the questionnaire. The uncertainty reduction video was designed to debrief the patient on subjects that may be causing uncertainty for the patient.

In conclusion, this study found that the uncertainty reduction video significantly reduced the patient's level of medical setting uncertainty. The study showed a relationship between medical setting uncertainty and relational uncertainty and a relationship between relational uncertainty and illness uncertainty. The study also indicated that patients have high levels of uncertainties in all uncertainty areas: illness, relational, and medical setting, and high a desire for information. However, the video did not show an ability to reduce a patient's level of relational or illness uncertainty. The study also did not show a relationship between self-concept and level of uncertainty and desire for information.

Future areas of research suggest that for a similar study a series of illness specific videotapes may be more beneficial at reducing illness uncertainty. The patient's level of previous knowledge, its source, depth and credibility was also suggested for future research. Another area suggested for future research would be the correlation between uncertainties and anxieties.

Pages

79

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