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A critique of a current health promotion leaflet (Level 2)

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Introduction

Health promotion is increasingly seen as a role of the NHS and its practitioners (Boyce 2009). Darzi (2008) recommended that the NHS should be equally active in promoting good health as it is in treating disease and therefore modern nurses require knowledge of effective health education materials to enhance health promotion. This assignment will seek to appraise a health promotion leaflet (Appendix 1) related to a current NHS health campaign and which for the purpose of this assignment will be referred to throughout as 'the leaflet'. Appraisal of this leaflet will include: an explanation of why this leaflet was chosen; the source of the leaflet; the relevance of this leaflet to the role of the nurse in promoting health; an analysis of the design of the leaflet including effectiveness of both illustration and textual layout by way of reference to supporting evidence; an evaluation of the information content contained within the leaflet; a short critique of the overall readability of the information using a widely accepted readability test and supporting guidelines; a brief consideration of the target audience and subsequent ethical considerations and lastly an overview of the assignment with reference to application to practice and future research. Firstly the leaflet was chosen as it is part of a current NHS health promotion campaign aimed at raising awareness of risk factors of hepatitis C contraction and to encourage at risk individuals to seek testing and treatment for the disease. Produced in 2009, the leaflet is an example of a current health promotion leaflet produced in the UK for the National Health Service. ...read more.

Middle

Text within the leaflet is of a recommended dark on light background in a 9.5 mm font which is smaller than the recommended 12 mm and could make reading the leaflet uncomfortable for people with visual difficulties (Briggs & Smith 2008). The nurse selecting appropriate health information should consider such influences on comprehension of health education materials (Carress 2003). In terms of content of information, written material should contain accurate content and be written in a simple manner which can be understood easily (Hoffmann and Worral 2004d), (NHS 2006b). The information in the leaflet can be assumed to be relatively current as it has been issued by the department of health superseding a previous '2006' health information leaflet (DOH 2009), it has been produced as part of a campaign strategy based on the Hepatitis C strategy for England, supported by current evidence as recommended in the NHS toolkit for producing patient information (NHS 2006c). The information contained in an A4 sized leaflet cannot cover all information; however the leaflet does refer the reader to further resources although it is, the opinion of the author, a weak point of the leaflet is that there is no direct link to the current campaign website. The information contained within the material can be seen to be comprehensible to readers of varied literacy skills where one accepts that material should be written at approximately aged 10 levels for optimum readability (Hoffmann and Worrall 2004e). McLaughlin (1974) describes readability as a quality of written material which encourages the reader to keep reading. ...read more.

Conclusion

and Smith A,S. (2008) Evaluation of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Print Patient Education Materials for Use With Low-Health Literate Populations. Diabetes Care, 31(4), 667-71. Houts,P,S. Doak C,C. Doak L,G, Loscalz M,J. (2006) The role of pictures in improving health communication: A review of research on attention, comprehension, recall, and adherence. Patient Education and Counseling 61, 173-190 Hoffmann,T. Worral, L. (2004) Designing effective written health education materials: considerations for health professionals. Disability and Rehabilitation. 26(19), 1166-1173 Godsell M, Scarborough K (2006) Improving communication for people with learning disabilities. Nursing Standard. 20(30), 58-65 Griffith,J. McKenna,K. tooth,L. (2003) Written health education materials:making them more effective. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 50, 170-177 McLaughlin H,G. (1969) SMOG Grading - A New Readability Formula, Journal of Reading. 639-645. McLaughlin.H,G.(1974) Temptations of the flesch. Instructional Science 367-384 Panou,m. and Catt,J. (2009) raising awareness of hepatitis C infection. |Primary Health Care 19 (4) , 16-20 Sand-Jecklin,K. (2007) The Impact of Medical Terminology on readability of patient education materials. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 24(2), 119-129 Smith S (2006) Cross-cultural information leaflets. Nursing Standard. 21(4), 39-41 UK Department of Health (2008) High Quality Care For All. NHS Next Stage Review Final Report by Lord Darzi. UK Department of Health (2009) Publication Hepatitis C, are you at risk? NHS (2006) Toolkit for Producing patient information. NHS (2009) Hepatitis C. Get tested, get treated: Available from http://www.nhs.uk/hepatitisc/Pages/default.aspx accessed on 18/06/2009 WHO (2009) Hepatitis C factsheet: Available from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/ accessed on 18/06/2009 McLaughlin G,H and Trottier A. Online SMOG test: Available from http://www.wordscount.info/ accessed on 20/06/2009 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Marie Anne Smith ...read more.

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