Medication information leaflets for patients:The further validation of an analytic linguistic framework

Authors

  • Rosemary Clerehan Monash University
  • Di Hirsh Monash University
  • Rachelle Buchbinder Monash University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v6i2.117

Keywords:

Patient information leaflet, drug information, arthritis medication, systemic functional linguistics, genre, evaluative framework

Abstract

While clinicians may routinely use patient information leaflets about drug therapy, a poorly conceived leaflet has the potential to do harm. We previously developed a novel approach to analysing leaflets about a rheumatoid arthritis drug, using an analytic approach based on systemic functional linguistics. The aim of the present study was to verify the validity of the linguistic framework by applying it to two further arthritis drug leaflets. The findings confirmed the applicability of the framework and were used to refine it. A new stage or ‘move’ in the genre was identified. While the function of many of the moves appeared to be ‘to instruct’ the patient, the instruction was often unclear. The role relationships expressed in the text were critical to the meaning. As with our previous study, judged on their lexical density, the leaflets resembled academic text. The framework can provide specific tools to assess and produce medication information leaflets to support readers in taking medication. Future work could utilize the framework to evaluate information on other treatments and procedures or on healthcare information more widely.

Author Biographies

Rosemary Clerehan, Monash University

Rosemary Clerehan, BA(Hons), DipEd, MA, PhD, is Associate Professor and Director, International Postgraduate Academic Support, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. Her research interests are doctor-patient communication; learning and teaching on the internet; and cross-cultural issues in teaching and learning.

Di Hirsh, Monash University

Di Hirsh, BSc, Dip Ed, BA(Hons), MA, is a Research Assistant in the Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Cabrini Hospital and Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.

Rachelle Buchbinder, Monash University

Rachelle Buchbinder, MBBS (Hons), MSc, PhD, FRACP, is a rheumatologist and clinical epidemiologist. She is Director, Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Cabrini Hospital; and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Her research interests include measurement of health literacy and its impact on health outcomes.

Published

2010-01-20

How to Cite

Clerehan, R., Hirsh, D., & Buchbinder, R. (2010). Medication information leaflets for patients:The further validation of an analytic linguistic framework. Communication and Medicine, 6(2), 117–127. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v6i2.117

Issue

Section

Articles