Policy Briefing #2 – Patient Information and Health Literacy

Friday, 24 March 2017

This month’s policy briefing is centered on patient information which is part of the 2017 engagement and empowerment plan. Patient information is one of the pillars on which the concept of patient-centered healthcare builds. By relying on accurate, comprehensive, and easily understandable information, patients can strengthen their knowledge of healthcare processes and mechanisms.

At the same time, by making patients better aware of the available choices and options, high-quality information enables them to make informed decisions and meaningfully contribute to decision-making processes. Without information, patients cannot truly take charge of their own healthcare.

However, not all the information that is available can safely be relied upon, especially today when sources and channels of information have markedly increased. Due to that, it has become all the more crucial for patients to develop an ability to assess and evaluate the credibility of the information they receive. Important criteria that can be relied on to evaluate the quality of patient information include:

  • Clarity: Information needs to be logical in structure and provide a clear understanding of the objectives of the process to which it refers.
  • Patient engagement: Patients must not be mere recipients of information. Rather, they must play a leading role in the information generation and dissemination processes.
  • Usability: The language must be shaped and adapted according to the users’ individual needs.
  • Communication: Dissemination strategies and techniques should be aimed at maximising patients’ access to information.
  • Credibility: The information must be conveyed by credible sources.


Read the policy briefing on patient information here


IAPO members webinar: Tips and tools for assessing health evidence

To provide our members with a better understanding of IAPO’s definition of high-quality information, the topics of how to evaluate the reliability of information sources and how to assess the credibility of health evidence will be addressed in the first webinar of IAPO's engagement and empowerment plan will take place on Thursday 20th April 2017 at 16:00 to 17:00 BST. The webinar will be held by Fiona Morgan, Cardiff University. By attending the webinar, our members will be able to:

  • Navigate the range of health evidence available
  • Effectively assess the credibility and value of a source
  • Employ strategies, techniques and tools for carrying out this assessment

Please note, this webinar is for IAPO members only.


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