Letters

Written information for treating minor illness

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7311.516/a (Published 01 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:516

Authors did not consider patients' view of information they received

  1. Mary Dixon-Woods, lecturer in health policy (md11@le.ac.uk),
  2. Hazel Thornton, founding chairman (retired)
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 6TP
  2. Consumers' Advisory Group for Clinical Trials, Colchester, Essex CO5 7EA
  3. Tilehurst Surgery, Tilehurst, Reading, Berkshire RG30 6BW

    EDITOR—Two papers conclude that information booklets are unlikely to influence consulting rates. 1 2 One criticism of these papers that we have is their failure to report on the quality of the booklets used and how this might be judged, or to comment on the factors other than factual content that might affect patients' reactions to the materials. This failure comes despite the resources provided by the NHS Centre for Health Information Quality3 and despite comments made in an accompanying editorial.4 More important, however, is the way in which patients are characterised by these papers.

    The outcome chosen in both studies—that of reducing consultation—represents a prioritising of professional and biomedical …

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