Front cover image for Accuracy of perception of time spent waiting for emergency treatment

Accuracy of perception of time spent waiting for emergency treatment

This was a descriptive study of the accuracy of perceived time spent waiting for treatment in the Emergency Department (ED). The effects of pain, anxiety and selected socio-demographic variables on accuracy were explored. Satisfaction with the waiting area was also examined. The sample included 130 adults drawn from those who arrived under their own control for treatment at an ED of a tertiary hospital in the Pacific Northwest. The data were gathered using an investigator conducted interviews while the subjects waited for treatment. Overall, a significant difference existed between clock waiting time and perceived waiting time. The mean difference, 5.36 minutes, was very small, indicating little practical significance. Pain, anxiety, gender, ethnicity, and prior experience in the ED were found to have no significant effect on accuracy of perceived waiting time. The same was true when subjects were grouped into accuracy groups based on perceived time passage within 10% or more or less than 10% of actual time passage. Response to the waiting environment was predominantly neutral. Having friends or family with them was viewed as positive most of the time. A negative rating was most often assigned to noise, other patients and other patients' visitors
Thesis, Dissertation, English, 1997
University of Alaska, Anchorage