Evaluating the Understandability and Actionability of Web-Based Education Materials for Patients Taking Non-vitamin K Oral Anticoagulants.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Therapeutic innovation & regulatory science, 2020, 54, (2), pp. 476-483
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BACKGROUND:More patients are now taking high-risk medicines such as non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs). Hence, patient education materials need to be in an understandable format so that they can be empowered to act on their knowledge. Factors such as health literacy and the design of the medicine information material may influence the patient's ability to understand and act on key information. METHOD:The PRISMA checklist was used to inform the study design. A structured search was conducted to obtain all freely accessible online educational resources designed for patients about the non-vitamin K antagonists (NOACs) during August 2018. Three search engines were used: Google, Yahoo! and Bing, using the search terms "NOAC" and "anticoagulant" combined with "patient/consumer information and patient/consumer resources."We applied the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) to evaluate web-based patient education materials in terms of understandability and actionability for patients taking NOACs. RESULTS:Of the 35 materials included, the majority of the materials (n = 32, 91%) were rated as highly understandable (PEMAT score ≥70%), and more than three-quarters of all the materials (n = 29, 83%) were rated as poorly actionable (PEMAT score <70%). For understandability, the majority of materials neither provided a summary of the key points nor used visual aids for several items such as simple tables, illustrations, and photographs. For actionability, few materials provided a tangible tool, such as a checklist, to prompt the user into action (n = 4). Few used visual aids such as nonverbal cues to the written instructions (n = 4). CONCLUSION:To improve the understandability and actionability of most of the NOAC patient education materials, there is a need to include more summaries of information, visual aids, and tangible tools such as checklists. Further research is warranted where patients are involved in providing feedback on the design of medicine information materials for NOACs.
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