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Keywords:

  • interventions;
  • medical errors;
  • patient participation;
  • patient safety

Abstract

Background  In recent years, patient-focused interventions have been introduced aimed at increasing patient involvement in safety-related behaviours. However, patients’ attitudes towards these interventions and comfort in participating in the recommended behaviours remain largely unexplored.

Objective  To evaluate patients’ attitudes towards a video and leaflet aimed at encouraging patient involvement in safety-related behaviours.

Design  Two exploratory studies employing a within-subjects mixed-methods design.

Setting  Six hospital wards on an inner-city London teaching hospital.

Participants  Medical and surgical inpatients: 80 patients in study 1 (mean age 55; 69% men) and 80 patients in study 2 (mean age 52; 60% men).

Intervention  Patients watched the PINK patient safety video (study 1) or read the National Patient Safety Agency’s ‘Please Ask’ about staying in hospital leaflet (study 2).

Main outcome measures  Perceived comfort in participating in safety-related behaviours; attitudes towards the video or leaflet.

Results  Both video and leaflet increased patients’ perceived comfort in engaging in some (but not all) safety-related behaviours (< 0.05). In both studies, the majority of patients questioned whether the intervention could help to reduce medical errors in health care. Suggestions on how the video/leaflet could be improved mainly related to content and layout.

Conclusion  Video and leaflet could be effective at encouraging patient involvement in some safety-related behaviours. Further in-depth research on patients’ attitudes towards different educational materials is required to help inform future policies and interventions in this very important but under-researched area.