Patient education is central to the practice of all health professionals. Pharmacists often use printed educational material, such as consumer medicine information, as adjuncts to verbal communication and education of patients about their medications. A relatively large proportion of the Australian population have low literacy skills and cannot read or understand written patient educational materials which are typically written at levels equivalent to year 9 and above. By using simple readability assessment tools such as RAIN, SMOG or FOG and the UK's Department of Health 'Toolkit for producing patient information' health professionals can ensure that printed educational materials are simple and easily read by a wide patient population. These measures will ensure that pharmacists can become more effective educators to improve patients' medication knowledge and understanding, which will assist with optimising compliance and overall therapeutic outcomes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jmullan/27/