Written health education materials: Making them more effective

Authors

  • Janelle Griffin,

    1. 1 The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, 2Department of Occupational Therapy, The University of Queensland and 3School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • 1,2 Kryss McKenna,

    Corresponding author
    1. 1 The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, 2Department of Occupational Therapy, The University of Queensland and 3School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • and 2 Leigh Tooth 3

    1. 1 The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, 2Department of Occupational Therapy, The University of Queensland and 3School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Janelle Griffin BOccThy; Senior Occupational Therapist. Kryss McKenna PhD; Senior Lecturer. Leigh Tooth PhD; Postdoctoral Fellow.

Kryss McKenna, Department of Occupational Therapy, The University of Queensland , Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. Email: k.mckenna@mailbox.uq.edu.au

Abstract

Clients need high quality information if they are to make informed decisions about their health and to be actively involved in their care. Occupational therapists provide clients with education to equip them to participate in shared decision-making about their treatment as well to assist them with gaining specific skills and training. One method used to educate clients is to provide information in written form. However, for these materials to be effective, they must be written at a level able to be read and understood by clients. This can only be achieved if due consideration is given to clients’ literacy levels, the readability level of the written information, and the overall design characteristics of the materials. In this paper, we review the literature in these areas and offer some guidelines that will help occupational therapists to provide clients with effective written materials.

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