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A PIL for every ill? Patient information leaflets (PILs): A review of past, present and future use

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rob WilsonORCiD, Professor Ian Purves, Professor Jill ClarkORCiD, Professor Douglas Newton


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This article reviews the usefulness and importance of written information, specifically leaflets, being given to patients. Evidence suggesting how both patient and doctor may benefit from the giving of written information is reviewed. Identification of good practice relating to the content and readability of leaflets is discussed. An argument is put forward that the giving of written information is an under-utilized resource in contributing to improving patient outcomes but that this may be changing with the increasing use of patient leaflet databases. The advantages and disadvantages of computer-generated patient leaflets are discussed and desirable further areas of research on computer-generated leaflets are proposed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kenny T, Wilson RG, Purves IN, Clark J, Newton LD, Newton DP, Moseley DV

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Family Practice

Year: 1998

Volume: 15

Issue: 5

Pages: 471-479

Print publication date: 01/10/1998

ISSN (print): 0263-2136

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2229


DOI: 10.1093/fampra/15.5.471

PubMed id: 9848435