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First impressions: an information leaflet for patients attending a musculoskeletal outpatient department

Abstract

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.

Cite this article

First impressions: an information leaflet for patients attending a musculoskeletal outpatient department Lisa Roberts Physiotherapy - September 2006 (Vol. 92, Issue 3, Pages 179-186, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2006.02.009)

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