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Patient Educ Couns. 1998 Feb;33(2):129-41.

Information booklets about cancer: factors influencing patient satisfaction and utilization.

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  • 1Dept of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Providing patients with adequate information is an important component of care. This exploratory study investigated factors influencing patient satisfaction with and utilization of information booklets. The research was conducted in two stages. In stage 1, five commonly used cancer information booklets were reviewed by 36 Australian patients who were either receiving chemotherapy or had just completed treatment. Data were collected on patient satisfaction with, preference for and utilization of information booklets. In addition data were collected on variables identified in the literature as potentially influencing patient satisfaction, including patient characteristics, presentation and readability of booklets, and the timing of provision. A high level of satisfaction was found for all five information booklets, although a clear preference for one particular booklet emerged. The most notable feature of this booklet was its readability level (grade 8); in contrast the other booklets were written at levels equivalent to grades 11-12. Stage 2 focused on the side effects of patient information preference style on their satisfaction and recall of information presented in two booklets in the course of their treatment. No differences were found between patients who seek information and those who avoid it. The findings of this study suggest that patients' information needs may be better met if information booklets are written in plain English, and presented to patients prior to treatment. Future studies incorporating a larger sample of patients and greater selection and variety of information booklets are required to further determine if patient characteristics and features of booklet presentation influence patient satisfaction and preference.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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