Patient information leaflets: Producing understandable PILs

Lynn Newton*, Douglas Newton, Jill Clark, Tim Kenny, David Moseley, Ian Purves, Rob Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of the informed health-care 'consumer' rests on the availability of comprehensible information. While varions bodies have made information available, its quality is mixed. Information is sometimes untrustworthy, incomprehensible, or simply forgotten by patients. An understandable record of advice is more likely to bring about compliance with treatment and lessee the need to revisit the surgery. This is a report of the revision of health-care information leaflets and their testing on 59 volunteers (61-81 years old). Presentation, reading ease and understanding were considered. The goal of making health-care information comprehensible was achieved. Guidelines for revising such material are described and illustrated. The informed consumer goal may be achievable if writers of health-care information attend to communication as much as to the adequacy of their medical advice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-181
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Information Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


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