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Keywords:

  • cross-case analysis;
  • medicine information leaflets;
  • patient information;
  • tailoring information

Abstract

Objectives

To explore participants' opinions and preferences on tailored written medicines information.

Methods

Forty-five participants were recruited to eight focus groups, run concurrently in Australia (23 participants in four groups) and the UK (22 participants in four groups). Participants were provided with exemplar leaflets for a cardiovascular medicine based on the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor ramipril, which was tailored for a man aged 55 with hypertension. Reference to other indications of the medicine, children's doses, pregnancy and breast-feeding information were removed. A topic guide directed the discussion and explored preferences and opinions on tailored leaflets. Focus group discussions were recorded, transcribed verbatim and content analysed using adapted cross-case study analysis.

Key findings

Participants welcomed the concept of tailored information, desiring shorter and more relevant information. Information tailored to their condition or disease was most sought-after, followed by tailoring by age or gender. However, some participants voiced concerns about the potential for the wrong information being given to patients who would be unable to recognise that it was incorrect. Other concerns included how tailoring might impact upon the quality of information available and the feasibility of delivery, especially regarding the legal implications (Australia) and the cost (UK). A key finding was the participants' desire for a truly individualised approach to tailoring medicines information, as opposed to the generalised tailored information provided in the study. Participants said they would value having spoken communication with a healthcare professional at the same time as they received tailored leaflets.

Conclusions

Most participants welcomed tailored leaflets but overall valued a more personalised approach than the generalised tailored information we provided. Despite concerns about quality and delivery, many felt tailoring written medicines information could improve the relevance of the information to the individual and potentially encourage them to value it.