creating a patient handout/help patients get involved

  1. Help!

    I am creating a patient hand out to help patients get involved in their care. Sort-of a motivational tool with ideas on how to get involved as a member of their healthcare team.

    Do you have/ know of any articles stating that patients who are more involved in their care have better outcomes?
    either physical health or mental health/satisfaction
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   jahra
    UC Davis MC has a nice outline of what to consider when designing a patient handout

    Here is the link-
  4. by   VickyRN
    the article "breaking it down" is helpful. patients need teaching content broken down into simple parts that they can clearly understand - otherwise, they become discouraged or lose interest. the recommendation for reading complexity is 4th or 5th grade level for most areas of the country. be sure to analyze your targeted audience as to reading level, interests, purpose, design and layout, and graphics or images.

    make sure your teaching tool is well designed and attractive. tri-folds are easy to prepare and are preferred by many patients. readers are less intimidated by a brief tri-fold brochure, than they are by the lengthier pamphlet. tri-fold brochure types are most commonly used by health educators because these can easily be placed on display in public areas or mailed in a standard #10 envelope. a second favorite type of patient education document is the front and back flyer.

    be sure to include ample white space and lots of pictures. most u.s. government works are free of copyright restrictions (public domain). this includes photos, illustrations, or images/ visuals.

    older patients need larger print, usually 18 point.

    hope this helps and best wishes to you
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    you want to be sure to use the smog formula for reading grade level. it's astonishing how many patient teaching materials are written for a high school graduate level reader, or higher, when the average reading level in this country is more like 7th-8th grade. find the easy-to-use smog tool at

    <center>the smog readability formula

    </center> to calculate the smog reading grade level, begin with the entire written work that is being assessed, and follow these four steps:

    1. count off 10 consecutive sentences near the beginning, in the middle, and near the end of the text.
    2. from this sample of 30 sentences, circle all of the words containing three or more syllables (polysyllabic), including repetitions of the same word, and total the number of words circled.
    3. estimate the square root of the total number of polysyllabic words counted. this is done by finding the nearest perfect square, and taking its square root.
    4. finally, add a constant of three to the square root. this number gives the smog grade, or the reading grade level that a person must have reached if he or she is to fully understand the text being assessed.
    <hr> a few additional guidelines will help to clarify these directions:
    • a sentence is defined as a string of words punctuated with a period (.), an exclamation point (!) or a question mark (?).
    • hyphenated words are considered as one word.
    • numbers which are written out should also be considered, and if in numeric form in the text, they should be pronounced to determine if they are polysyllabic.
    • proper nouns, if polysyllabic, should be counted, too.
    • abbreviations should be read as unabbreviated to determine if they are polysyllabic.

    <hr> not all pamphlets, fact sheets, or other printed materials contain 30 sentences. to test a text that has fewer than 30 sentences:
    1. count all of the polysyllabic words in the text.
    2. count the number of sentences.
    3. find the average number of polysyllabic words per sentence as follows:
    average= total # of polysyllabic words/total # of sentences
    4. multiply that average by the number of sentences short of 30.
    5. add that figure on to the total number of polysyllabic words.
    6. find the square root and add the constant of 3.
    <hr> a quick version of the smog test:

    count the number of polysyllabic words in the chain of 30 sentences and look up the approximate grade level on the smog conversion table. <center> smog conversion table

    </center> <table border="2"><tbody><tr> <td>total polysyllabic word counts</td> <td>approximate grade level (+/- 1.5 grades)</td> </tr> <tr> <td>0-2</td><td>4</td></tr> <tr> <td>3-6</td><td>5</td></tr> <tr> <td>7-12</td><td>6</td></tr> <tr> <td>13-20</td><td>7</td></tr> <tr> <td>21-30</td><td>8</td></tr> <tr> <td>31-42</td><td>9</td></tr> <tr> <td>43-56</td><td>10</td></tr> <tr> <td>57-72</td><td>11</td></tr> <tr> <td>73-90</td><td>12</td></tr> <tr> <td>91-110</td><td>13</td></tr> <tr> <td>111-132</td><td>14</td></tr> <tr> <td>133-156</td><td>15</td></tr> <tr> <td>157-182</td><td>16</td></tr> <tr> <td>183-210</td><td>17</td></tr> <tr> <td>211-240</td><td>18</td></tr></tbody></table>
    Last edit by nurseprnRN on May 30, '11 : Reason: adding new info