• nurse perception;
  • patient;
  • fear;
  • anxiety;
  • coronary arteriography;
  • coronary heart disease

Nurses’ ability to perceive patients’ fears related to coronary arteriography¶This study describes the congruence of the perceptions of 180 patient–nurse dyads concerning patients’ fears related to coronary arteriography (CA). The perceptions were measured with a purpose-designed instrument which listed 26 objects of fear. t-Tests and chi-square tests were used to compare the responses and the associations with demographic data. The results pointed to inconsistencies between patients’ and nurses’ perceptions. Nurses and patients had congruent perceptions of the 10 most intense fears related to CA. Otherwise nurses tended to overestimate patients’ fears. Nurses’ perceptions of the intensity of individual patients’ fears were incongruent so that before CA there was a tendency to overestimate the intensity of fears and after CA to underestimate it. The results suggest that nurses need to pay more attention to the assessment of individual patients’ fears and to avoid stereotypical views of patient fears. The use of an assessment instrument is recommended as one way of enhancing the quality of care.