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A survey of the quality and accuracy of information leaflets about skin cancer and sun-protective behaviour available from UK general practices and community pharmacies

Nicholls, S., Hankins, Matthew, Hooley, C. and Smith, H. (2009) A survey of the quality and accuracy of information leaflets about skin cancer and sun-protective behaviour available from UK general practices and community pharmacies Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 23, (5), pp. 566-569. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2008.03017.x). (PMID:19175488).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: better information promotes sun protection behaviour and is associated with earlier presentation and survival for malignant melanoma.

Aim: to assess the quality of patient information leaflets about skin cancer and sun-protective behaviour available from general practices and community pharmacies.

Design of study: a structured review of patient information leaflets.

Setting: all community pharmacies and general practices in one Primary Care Trust were invited to supply leaflets.

Methods: readability was assessed using the SMOG scoring system. Presentation and content were reviewed using the Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) guidelines. Three consultant dermatologists assessed each leaflet for accuracy.

Results: thirty-one different patient information leaflets were returned. Thirteen (42%) were published in the previous 2 years, but 10 (32%) were over 5 years old. Nine (29%) leaflets were produced by the NHS or Health Education Authority, and 8 (27%) were linked to a commercial organization. One leaflet had readability in the primary education range (SMOG score = 6), and none with the recommended range for health education material (SMOG score ? 5). Two leaflets (6%) were in the highest quartile of EQIP score for presentation and content. Five leaflets (17%) had a major inaccuracy such as over-reliance on sun screen products instead of shade and clothing.

Conclusions: leaflets were of variable quality in presentation and content. All required a reading age higher than recommended. All leaflets with major inaccuracies had links with commercial organizations. This study raises important issues about the potential conflict between marketing and health messages in the way sun creams are promoted

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More information

Published date: May 2009
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 343698
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/343698
ISSN: 0926-9959
PURE UUID: 3ffdb656-46d5-4ba5-9ad4-5200ca9185d4

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Date deposited: 12 Oct 2012 14:12
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:21

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Contributors

Author: S. Nicholls
Author: Matthew Hankins
Author: C. Hooley
Author: H. Smith

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