Saturday, December 02, 2006

Assessing the quality of health information - a guide

Assessing the quality of health information - a guide " Patient information is effective in improving patients’ knowledge and recall of medical facts. Combining verbal and written information is more effective than verbal information alone and personalised computer-based information is more effective than general information. Many
patients prefer health information that is delivered using audio, visual or interactive media.
People in disadvantaged groups derive greater benefit from computer-based health information systems than those with higher levels of health literacy. Computer-based systems which combine information delivery with online discussion groups improve social support among people with chronic conditions. Computer-based systems can also have a positive effect
on self-care. There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of patient decision aids, which
improve both patients’ knowledge and their realistic expectations of the benefits and harms of
treatment. They also improve patients’ involvement in decisions and the level of agreement
between patients’ values and treatments chosen, and in some cases they lead to reductions in the use of resources.

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