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Table 4 Information content[6]and readability assessment of patient information tools (n = 17)

From: A review of decision support, risk communication and patient information tools for thrombolytic treatment in acute stroke: lessons for tool developers

Start with a clear statement of aims? N %
  Describes its purpose (e.g. to aid decision-making) 9 53
Describes what it covers (to help the reader judge whether it’s worth carrying on) 8 47
Describes who it is for (i.e. which patient groups) 15 88
Provide unbiased and detailed information about options?   
  Describes the health condition 8 47
Describes the natural course without treatment 7 41
Lists the treatment/management/lifestyle options 9 53
Describes benefits of options 17 100
Describes risks of options (harms/side-effects/disadvantages) 17 100
Describes uncertainty around the current evidence (i.e. what is not known) 1 6
Describes procedures (i.e., treatments, targets, monitoring, behaviour change, etc.) 15 88
Contain accurate information?   
  Clearly states the evidence sources used in compiling the information 8 47
Information quoted is in line with the most up-to-date clinical evidence 8 47
Where mentioned, prevalence estimates give an accurate impression of how common/rare the condition is 1 6
Personal opinion and/or advertising are clearly distinguished from evidence-based information 5 29
Help patients to make appropriate decisions   
  Acknowledges (explicitly or implicitly) that the patient has decisions to make 8 47
Helps patients to imagine what it is like to live with the condition and/or treatment effects 4 24
Asks patients to consider factors (e.g. priorities, motivations, treatment outcomes) affecting possible courses of action 2 12
Suggests ways and/or provides tools to help patients make decisions 1 6
Disclose conflicts of interest?   
  Includes authors’ / developers’ credentials or qualifications 9 53
Reports source of funding for development and distribution 6 35
Have a clear structure and layout?   
  Is consistent in design and layout throughout 17 100
Includes aids to finding information (e.g. contents, index, site map, or search facility) 5 29
Important points are emphasised through the use of summaries and/or bullet points 10 59
Illustrates information with diagrams and/or pictures 7 41
Where diagrams appear, they are labelled and relate to the subject matter 5 29
Sections are clearly separated 14 82
Help the reader judge its reliability   
  Reports date of publication 10 59
Includes sources of further information 7 41
Information content total: median (IQR), min/max 13 (6.5), 5/23
Readability (Fog Index): median (IQR), min/max 10.0 (2.9), 7.5/15.9