Access to records doesn’t affect angst

GIVING patients with cancer access to personal medical records does not lead to increased anxiety, researchers have found.

The French study, involving almost 300 patients with newly diagnosed cancer who had received adjuvant chemotherapy, found 98% of patients who had the opportunity to obtain their medical records chose to do so, and the information within it was understood by 82% of patients. 

“Having full access to medical records neither decreased nor increased anxiety, and patients were globally satisfied,” the authors said.

Medical oncologist Professor Martin Tattersall, from the University of Sydney, said as patients only remember about 20% of information received during an oncology consultation, there were advantages to handing out their personal medical files. 

But referral letters were a much better source of information than typical hospital records, he said.

Professor Ian Kerridge, director of