Table 3.

Scaled emotion and mixed analysis of narratives as presented by callersa

Scaled emotionNarrative
Minimally worriedMinimally worried. Being bothered by symptoms that have been present for a while. Feeling frustrated and eventually calling the medical helpline with the intention of receiving treatment/referral.
Slightly worriedConcern. Characterised by insecurity and not knowing how to react to the situation. Concern led to exploration of cause of the problem, its consequences, and information seeking.
WorriedA kind of insecurity and rumination and the constant re-evaluation of the condition and its progression. The call to the medical helpline was made with the intention of getting reassurance that the condition was not serious and would be self-limiting.
Very worriedA sense of urgency because the condition was potentially dangerous and should be assessed by a doctor. Uncertainty regarding the urgency of the condition, which could lead to helplessness.
Extremely worriedA feeling of distress and certainty that something was wrong after repeated re-assessment of the condition and contemplation about the consequences. The expression ‘I am really upset’ described a feeling of threat (implied by the caller) if the patient failed to get medical attention.
  • a Words in bold indicate connecting themes.