Objective: To obtain patient feedback about the structure and quality of medication information leaflets and validate the usefulness of the Evaluative Linguistic Framework (ELF) for improving written communication with patients.
Methods: Triangulated feedback about a set of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) medication leaflets, some developed with knowledge of the ELF, was obtained from 27 people with RA from interviews, focus group discussion and self-administered questionnaires. The principal elements of the framework were investigated: overall generic structure and functions of each stage, interpersonal relationship between writer and reader, technicality of language and density of information.
Results: Participant assessments of the leaflets aligned with the framework in terms of what constituted a good leaflet. While the main purpose of the leaflets was identified as being information provision, participants also wanted clear instructions, benefits to be highlighted and side effects to be comprehensively listed. For comprehensiveness and user-friendliness, leaflets developed with guidance of the ELF were consistently preferred.
Conclusion: According to people with RA, leaflets generated from a linguistic framework are clearer and more effective in communicating information about medications.
Practice implications: The ELF is a user-friendly, structured analytic system that can assist with the development of effective high quality patient information materials.