When addressing concerns about an asthma diagnosis, or any diagnosis, clinicians are moving into a complex area that is often not taught in undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and medicine.1-3 This article will focus on the concerns of parents around an asthma diagnosis4 - however, it is easily applicable to patients diagnosed with asthma (and indeed other diagnoses). Consideration of the psychological effects of diagnosis is vital to encourage compliance, concordance and shared decision-making, so that our patients and their carers' can optimise the quality of life and outcomes.5,6
This article will work through issues around the ideas, concerns and expectations of parents. Professional considerations around time to diagnosis and confidence of diagnosis that can impact on care are discussed.
It is always worth considering how we feel and think when one of our close friends or family are seeking healthcare advice and clinicians are trying to establish a diagnosis.
Reflection: How many clinical diagnoses are made immediately when the patient attends to see a clinician - and how robust are these diagnoses?
How do we feel if one of our close friends or family is awaiting a diagnosis?