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Title: Review of the quality of printed patient education materials on asthma available in primary care in Singapore
Authors: Phua, Chuen Yen
Zheng, Lifeng
Tan, Ngiap Chuan
Tang, Wern Ee
Smith, Helen Elizabeth
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Phua, C. Y., Zheng, L., Tan, N. C., Tang, W. E., & Smith, H. E. (2020). Review of the quality of printed patient education materials on asthma available in primary care in Singapore. Journal of Asthma, 57(7), 787-798. doi:10.1080/02770903.2019.1602876
Journal: Journal of Asthma
Abstract: Objective: Patient education materials (PEMs) are commonly used for patient education. This study assessed readability, format quality, accuracy, understandability and actionability of printed asthma PEMs available in primary care in Singapore. Methods: Primary care in Singapore is provided by island-wide polyclinics and private general practices. We invited the three polyclinic healthcare groups and private general practices via the Primary Care Research Network to submit asthma-related PEMs. Readability was assessed using Simple Measure of Gobbledegook (SMOG) and Flesch–Kincaid (FK) score. Format quality was assessed using “Clear-print and large-print golden rules” from UK Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF). Understandability and actionability were evaluated using Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool – Printed. Three pulmonologists assessed content accuracy. Results: Thirty leaflets were assessed. SMOG and FK estimated 93% (mean 9.3, range 5–14, SD 1.8) and 47% (mean 6.8, range 2.4–9.9, SD 2.0) exceeded the recommended sixth-grade reading level, respectively. About a third (37%) were fully concordant with UKAAF guidelines, with poor format quality contributed by small font size, poor text emphasis methods, and not using left-aligned text. Leaflets generally scored well in both understandability (mean 84%) and actionability (mean 72%). Thirteen leaflets were inaccurate, 92% of which contained at least one inaccuracy judged to have potentially harmful consequences to patients, including wrong emergency advice. Conclusion: While understandability and actionability are adequate, current asthma PEMs are limited by inappropriately high reading levels, poor format quality and inaccuracies. Healthcare professionals need to assess patients’ reading abilities and ensure PEMs are accurate and suitable for their patients.
ISSN: 0277-0903
DOI: 10.1080/02770903.2019.1602876
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Asthma on 06 May 2019, available online:
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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