Background: In recent years, patient-focused interventions have been introduced aimed at increasing patient involvement in safety-related behaviours. However, patients' attitudes towards these interventions and comfort in participating in the recommended behaviours remain largely unexplored.
Objective: To evaluate patients' attitudes towards a video and leaflet aimed at encouraging patient involvement in safety-related behaviours.
Design: Two exploratory studies employing a within-subjects mixed-methods design.
Setting: Six hospital wards on an inner-city London teaching hospital.
Participants: Medical and surgical inpatients: 80 patients in study 1 (mean age 55; 69% men) and 80 patients in study 2 (mean age 52; 60% men).
Intervention: Patients watched the PINK patient safety video (study 1) or read the National Patient Safety Agency's 'Please Ask' about staying in hospital leaflet (study 2).
Main outcome measures: Perceived comfort in participating in safety-related behaviours; attitudes towards the video or leaflet.
Results: Both video and leaflet increased patients' perceived comfort in engaging in some (but not all) safety-related behaviours (P < 0.05). In both studies, the majority of patients questioned whether the intervention could help to reduce medical errors in health care. Suggestions on how the video/leaflet could be improved mainly related to content and layout.
Conclusion: Video and leaflet could be effective at encouraging patient involvement in some safety-related behaviours. Further in-depth research on patients' attitudes towards different educational materials is required to help inform future policies and interventions in this very important but under-researched area.
Keywords: interventions; medical errors; patient participation; patient safety.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.