Research Output

Learning lessons from the analysis of patient complaints relating to staff attitudes, behaviour and communication, using the concept of emotional labour

  Objectives: This paper explores the content of letters of complaint by patients and carers about the behaviour, attitudes and communication of healthcare staff.
Background: The most common focus of patient complaints in the UK and other high-income countries is staff attitudes, behaviour and communication. There is a move to learn lessons from patient complaints which can be used to improve patient care and experience.
Methods: Fifty letters of complaint made by patients and carers relating to the behaviour, attitudes and communication of healthcare staff were analysed thematically.
Results: Poor attitudes, behaviours and communication have significant negative impact on the emotional wellbeing of patients and carers. Many patients and carers have heightened sensitivities due to both health related stresses and also other factors. The health care role is expected to include compassion and kindness. The concept of emotional labour is useful in explaining the skills and effort required of staff in this often invisible and undervalued aspect of health care.
Conclusions: Given the increasing focus on patient experience, it is important that the importance of good staff attitudes, behaviours and communication is understood and that the emotional labour associated with this is recognised.
Key words: emotional labour, patient experience, qualitative methods

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    20 October 2017

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Wiley-Blackwell

  • DOI:

    10.1111/jocn.14121

  • ISSN:

    0962-1067

  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.73 Nursing

  • Funders:

    NHS Lothian

Citation

Hogg, R., Hanley, J., & Smith, P. (2018). Learning lessons from the analysis of patient complaints relating to staff attitudes, behaviour and communication, using the concept of emotional labour. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(5-6), e1004-e1012. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14121

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Keywords

Learning lessons from the analysis of patient complaints relating to staff attitudes, behaviour and communication, using the concept of emotional labour

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