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Pharmacol Res. 2001 May;43(5):437-44.

How to improve the readability of the patient package leaflet: a survey on the use of colour, print size and layout.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologia del Farmaco, University of Perugia via del Liceo, 1 06123 Perugia, Italy.

Abstract

This paper displays the results of the second part of a survey about patient information and the use of the patient package leaflet. The aim of this research is to investigate the consumers' attitude towards written information. As the formal aspects of the written message are very important in communication, we prepared a questionnaire in order to evaluate the attitude of patients towards some typographical modifications. Patients were invited to give indications about which colours could be used in the different paragraphs of the package leaflet and which print size could be easily read. All people interviewed were asked to choose a colour, from six proposed by us, to be used for 'therapeutic indications', 'side effects', 'how to use', 'paediatric use', 'contraindications', 'use in pregnancy' and 'warnings'. Clear suggestions for the choice of colours for therapeutic indications, side effects and contraindications arose from the survey. In the other cases there was no uniformity of answers. All people complained that the print size used in the package leaflet is too small and suggested 10 and 11 points Didot. Finally, from the survey it emerged that people would appreciate a more detailed package leaflet but information should be given in a schematic and concise way.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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