The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Randomised controlled trial of self management leaflets and booklets for minor illness provided by post

Randomised controlled trial of self management leaflets and booklets for minor illness provided by post
Randomised controlled trial of self management leaflets and booklets for minor illness provided by post
Objective: To assess the effectiveness of providing information by post about managing minor illnesses.

Design: Randomised controlled trial.

Setting: Six general practices.

Participants: Random sample of 4002 patients from the practice registers.

Intervention: Patients were randomised to receive one of three kinds of leaflet or booklet endorsed by their general practitioner: control (surgery access times), booklet, or summary card. Main outcome measures: Attendance with the 42 minor illnesses listed in the booklet. Perceived usefulness of leaflets or booklets, confidence in managing illness, and willingness to wait before seeing the doctor.

Results: 238 (6%) patients did not receive the intervention as allocated. Of the remaining 3764 patients, 2965 (79%) had notes available for review after one year. Compared with the control group, fewer patients attended commonly with the minor illnesses in the booklet group (?2 consultations a year: odds ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.67 to 0.99) and the summary card group (0.83; 0.72 to 0.96). Among patients who had attended with respiratory tract infections in the past year there was a reduction in those attending in the booklet group (0.81; 0.62 to 1.07) and summary card group (0.67; 0.51 to 0.89) compared with the control group. The incidence of contacts with minor illness fell slightly compared with the previous year in the booklet (incidence ratio 0.97; 0.84 to 1.13) and summary card groups (0.93; 0.80 to 1.07). More patients in the intervention groups felt greater confidence in managing illness (booklet 32%, card 34%, control 12%, P<0.001), but there was no difference in willingness to wait score (all groups mean=32, P=0.67).

Conclusion: Most patients find information about minor illness provided by post useful, and it helps their confidence in managing illness. Information may reduce the number attending commonly with minor illness, but the effect on overall contacts is likely to be modest. These data suggest that posting detailed information booklets about minor illness to the general population would have a limited effect.
practice, patient, surgery, outcome
0959-8138
1214-1217
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Somerville, Jane
0f22870e-ca7e-43ba-a17a-b1deea6a1a9b
Williamson, Ian
12381296-edbf-4ac5-969b-dcb559c22f27
Warner, Greg
72005519-1aa0-42da-b370-7ebd99792539
Moore, Michael
1be81dad-7120-45f0-bbed-f3b0cc0cfe99
Wiles, Rose
5bdc597b-716c-4f60-9f45-631ecca25571
George, Steve
bdfc752b-f67e-4490-8dc0-99bfaeb046ca
Smith, Ann
0cd60e9c-5215-48f6-889d-2f3b7077c904
Peveler, Robert
93198224-78d9-4c1f-9c07-fdecfa69cf96
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Somerville, Jane
0f22870e-ca7e-43ba-a17a-b1deea6a1a9b
Williamson, Ian
12381296-edbf-4ac5-969b-dcb559c22f27
Warner, Greg
72005519-1aa0-42da-b370-7ebd99792539
Moore, Michael
1be81dad-7120-45f0-bbed-f3b0cc0cfe99
Wiles, Rose
5bdc597b-716c-4f60-9f45-631ecca25571
George, Steve
bdfc752b-f67e-4490-8dc0-99bfaeb046ca
Smith, Ann
0cd60e9c-5215-48f6-889d-2f3b7077c904
Peveler, Robert
93198224-78d9-4c1f-9c07-fdecfa69cf96

Little, Paul, Somerville, Jane, Williamson, Ian, Warner, Greg, Moore, Michael, Wiles, Rose, George, Steve, Smith, Ann and Peveler, Robert (2001) Randomised controlled trial of self management leaflets and booklets for minor illness provided by post. BMJ, 322 (7296), 1214-1217. (doi:10.1136/bmj.322.7296.1214).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of providing information by post about managing minor illnesses.

Design: Randomised controlled trial.

Setting: Six general practices.

Participants: Random sample of 4002 patients from the practice registers.

Intervention: Patients were randomised to receive one of three kinds of leaflet or booklet endorsed by their general practitioner: control (surgery access times), booklet, or summary card. Main outcome measures: Attendance with the 42 minor illnesses listed in the booklet. Perceived usefulness of leaflets or booklets, confidence in managing illness, and willingness to wait before seeing the doctor.

Results: 238 (6%) patients did not receive the intervention as allocated. Of the remaining 3764 patients, 2965 (79%) had notes available for review after one year. Compared with the control group, fewer patients attended commonly with the minor illnesses in the booklet group (?2 consultations a year: odds ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.67 to 0.99) and the summary card group (0.83; 0.72 to 0.96). Among patients who had attended with respiratory tract infections in the past year there was a reduction in those attending in the booklet group (0.81; 0.62 to 1.07) and summary card group (0.67; 0.51 to 0.89) compared with the control group. The incidence of contacts with minor illness fell slightly compared with the previous year in the booklet (incidence ratio 0.97; 0.84 to 1.13) and summary card groups (0.93; 0.80 to 1.07). More patients in the intervention groups felt greater confidence in managing illness (booklet 32%, card 34%, control 12%, P<0.001), but there was no difference in willingness to wait score (all groups mean=32, P=0.67).

Conclusion: Most patients find information about minor illness provided by post useful, and it helps their confidence in managing illness. Information may reduce the number attending commonly with minor illness, but the effect on overall contacts is likely to be modest. These data suggest that posting detailed information booklets about minor illness to the general population would have a limited effect.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Published date: 19 May 2001
Keywords: practice, patient, surgery, outcome

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 17956
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/17956
ISSN: 0959-8138
PURE UUID: efb55221-f9fd-43c6-a90d-45ac59658b05
ORCID for Michael Moore: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5127-4509
ORCID for Robert Peveler: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5596-9394

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Nov 2005
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:17

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Paul Little
Author: Jane Somerville
Author: Ian Williamson
Author: Greg Warner
Author: Michael Moore ORCID iD
Author: Rose Wiles
Author: Steve George
Author: Ann Smith
Author: Robert Peveler ORCID iD

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×