Objective: To construct a systematic process for developing an 'interactive' booklet for use in primary care consultations and to use this process to develop a booklet on respiratory tract infections in children.
Methods: Booklet development occurred through a number of stages, which included: expert group brainstorming and literature review, professional graphic design, readability assessment, and consultation with users. Consultation was achieved through the use of focus groups and interviews with parents, focus groups and independent booklet review by general practitioners, and booklet review and feedback by paediatricians.
Results: All development stages led to meaningful enhancements to the booklet. Consultation with parents demonstrated a desire for more information than anticipated, with a particular emphasis on the interpretation of signs and symptoms, and the recognition of serious illness. General practitioners contributed to the design and clarity of the booklet and helped to ensure that it would be acceptable for use within consultations.
Conclusion: Written material needs to be developed in a systematic way and include consultation with the intended users. Focus groups are a valuable tool for consulting with consumers and practitioners in this regard.
Practice implications: The process described can be used as a guide for those wishing to develop similar written materials.