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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

A randomized experimental study to assess the effect of language on medical students' anxiety due to uncertainty.

Simpkin AL, Murphy Z, Armstrong KA. Diagnosis (Berl). 2019;6(3):269-276.

Whether or not word selection during handoffs affects clinician anxiety and diagnostic uncertainty remains unknown. In this study involving medical students, researchers found that use of the word "hypothesis" compared to the word "diagnosis" when describing a hypothetical handoff from the emergency department to the inpatient setting was associated with increased self-reported anxiety due to uncertainty.