AIME 89 pp 259-268 | Cite as

An Analysis of Uncertainty in British General Practice: Implications of a Preliminary Survey

  • A. L. Rector
  • J. B. Brooke
  • M. G. Sheldon
  • P. D. Newton
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Medical Informatics book series (LNMED, volume 38)


Relatively little is known about the extent or nature of doctors’ uncertainty in clinical practice. While clinical decision making has been studied extensively by workers such as Elstein [Elstein et al 1978], Gale and Marsden [1985] and Johnson [Johnson 1982; Johnson et al. 1983], none of these studies shed much light on the question of when, or how frequently, doctors themselves feel uncertain about diagnosis or management. This is surprising considering the number of efforts under way to develop clinical decision aids. Since a major factor in determining the readiness (or reluctance) of users to take up a new technology is the extent to which the technology meets users’ felt needs, determining detailed requirements is important. As the emphasis in designing systems shifts towards the user interface and integration systems [Shneiderman 1987; Shortliffe, 1987], the lack of information about how, when and where doctors experience uncertainty is a significant limitation.


General Practitioner Repertory Grid Female Doctor Male Doctor Repertory Grid Technique 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Rector
    • 1
  • J. B. Brooke
    • 2
  • M. G. Sheldon
  • P. D. Newton
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of General PracticeUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.Digital Equipment CorporationUSA

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