Pharmacy Practice vol:8 issue:Supplement 1 pages:64-65
International Social Pharmacy Workshop edition:16 location:Lisbon date:23-26 August 2010
Objective: The ABOP-project aims to improve the readability of Dutch patient information leaflets (PILs) by tackling three of the main issues that make a PIL difficult to read: a large amount of scientific terms, redundancy and ambiguously formulated instructions and warnings (1).
Methods: An automatic optimizer of patient information leaflets was developed as a MS-Word plug-in, based on a learning system (2) for the detection of scientific terms (terminology module), and a rulebased system for the detection of text structure (redundancy module) and syntactic complexity (instructions module). The impact of the automatically suggested adaptations for a range of PILs was measured using readability tests (face to face interviews and computer-based questionnaires), health literacy tests, and the CIRF (3) instrument. Tests were performed for each module, and for the tool as a whole.
Results: ABOP successfully detects scientific terms with a precision of more than 80%, as well as discrepancies in text structure, and ambiguously formulated instructions and warnings.
Readability tests revealed that, controlling for a priori health literacy differences, the PILs adjusted for terminology by the ABOP tool scored significantly higher than the original PILs (p=0.001). The same was true for perceived readability, as measured using the CIRF (p=0.025). Readability tests for adaptations concerning text structure and instructions / warnings, as well as for the combination of the three modules, are underway.
Conclusion: ABOP is an innovative and user-friendly tool that can be used to optimize and write Dutch information leaflets. A version for optimizing English leaflets will be developed in 2010 within the framework of the OptiPIL project.
Acknowledgement: This research was carried out within the framework of the IWT-TETRA funded ABOP (Automatic optimizer of Patient Information Leaflets) project (IWT-code: 70103).