Drug information in psychiatric hospitals in Flanders: a study of patient-oriented leaflets
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Objective: This study reviews written information sources that inform patients about their drugs used in psychiatric institutions in Flanders.Methods: Pharmacists working in psychiatry were asked to participate. Seven leaflets were collected and evaluated using the Flesh readability formula and twelve hospital pharmacists scored ten propositions on a Likert scale. Questionnaires were mailed to the participants.Results: There was wide variation within the three readability parameters: reading ease varied from easy to difficult, personal interest from tedious/scientific to very interesting/illustrated magazines and the quick reading test varied from formal to very popular. Two brochures were tedious and formal. As to the content, only three were significantly considered ‘very interesting for patients’ (P < 0.05). Most were found to be clear and not too long. Concrete information about administration, dosage and duration of therapy appeared to be absent from several leaflets. Adverse effects and possible complications were thought to be well rendered in most screened sources. According to the respondents, the role of the pharmacist was not sufficiently mentioned.Conclusion: Only three leaflets appeared to be suitable as a patient-oriented information tool. Pharmacists in psychiatric institutions can contribute to patient counselling by providing high-quality leaflets.
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