Patients' attitudes towards patient involvement in safety interventions: results of two exploratory studies

Health Expect. 2013 Dec;16(4):e164-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2011.00725.x. Epub 2011 Dec 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Medical Errors / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation / methods
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Young Adult