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Informing Patients: An Assessment of the Quality of Patient Information Materials

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 29 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1494
  1. Martin Tattersall, professor of cancer medicine
  1. University of Sydney, Australia

    Angela Coulter, Vikki Entwistle, David Gilbert

    King's Fund, £16.95, pp 216

    ISBN 1857172140

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    Pamphlets and, recently, audiotapes and videos have become a usual, visible, and promoted source of information for patients in general practice, in specialist consulting rooms, and in outpatient clinics. These information aids have been produced by a wide range of organisations in response to increasing patient expectations for factual or experiential information about investigations, illness and its causes, treatment options, support services, and likely outcomes. The quality, availability, acceptability, and effectiveness of information sources developed by authoritative bodies is commonly assumed.

    Many clinicians …

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