First impressions: an information leaflet for patients attending a musculoskeletal outpatient department
Physiotherapy, 92, (3), . (doi:10.1016/j.physio.2006.02.009).
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Objective: The purpose of this work was to design and evaluate an information leaflet for new patients attending a physiotherapy outpatient department. This formed part of a wider agenda of improving the patients’ experience and increasing adherence to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's core standards.
Design: A needs analysis was undertaken with existing patients to determine the content of the new leaflet. This was then tested for readability, reviewed by physiotherapy staff and evaluated by patients via a questionnaire.
Setting: The musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy department at Southampton General Hospital.
Participants: Patients referred to the outpatient physiotherapy service, plus all clinical and support staff employed in the musculoskeletal outpatient team.
Main outcome measures: Numerical Rating Scale and Gunning's Fog Index.
Results: Thirty-seven of 50 patients completed the needs analysis (74%), generating 42 ideas for the leaflet content. The definitive leaflet addressed one core standard and 16 specific criteria, and had a readability of grade 8.3, which is below the recommended maximum limit of grade 9 for health education leaflets. Using an 11-point Numerical Rating Scale, where 0 = of no benefit and 10 = extremely helpful, the mean rating for the leaflet from 29 of 100 patients was 8.6.
Conclusions: This work has produced a patient information leaflet for physiotherapy outpatients, a copy of which is freely available (electronically) from the author. The leaflet forms part of an ongoing commitment to improving the patients’ experience.
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