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Table 4 Category scheme for test readers’ “positive” reaction patterns to health information with description and quotations

From: Evidence-based health information from the users’ perspective – a qualitative analysis

Primary categories Description Quotations
Interest (i) Interest was expressed generally or tied to specific aspects such as being personally affected or having some connection to the topic like knowing an affected person. Other points of interest were particular contents or the structure of the text. This category has a clear connection to the discussion guide, with four questions about interest. It was interesting to learn what other men are doing. The presentation made me reflect on my own situation. (T36, 37: NT08029).
Satisfaction (ii) This reaction manifested itself in a positive overall impression of the informational item and in affirmative statements on the formal structure of the text, the comprehensibility of its explanations and the description of the data as a basis of evidence-based health information. I felt that they respected the reader. I felt that they took me seriously. I felt that it was written for me. (T84: NT08053).
Reassurance and trust (iii) This reaction pattern was prompted by a confirmation of the person’s own reading literacy as well as health literacy, for example. Information that supported the actions of people affected by the issue or that made them confident, e.g. by confirming their trust in medicine, were reassuring. Another factor was the feeling of security the readers got from acquiring knowledge or from a credible presentation of the information. If the antibiotic is taken responsibly, it’s a good thing. We don’t have to take it as often as we do. (T84: NT08053)
I always thought, when older people fall, they always break a hip. This has taken away some of my fear. (T137: NT08085).
Numbers are helpful and understandable. They’re reassuring too. (NT08085).
Activation (iv) This describes an activated stance or motivation on the part of the test readers at the level of thinking or action. It manifests itself in thoughts on the understanding of illness, for example, or in largely critical reflection, e.g. on the attitudes, abilities and responsibilities of the doctor and on the patient’s role (responsibility, co-determination) or on informational education (before informed consent), and the tested informational products and their research background. At the level of action we distinguished between activation beforehand (preparing the text), during (disagreements between the participants), and afterwards (resolutions, e.g. in dealing with the doctor, with their own family or with those affected with the illness). This category relates to questions in the discussion guide about the central message or about what the readers have learnt and what consequences it has. People should be more critical about taking food supplements. (T33: NT08026).
It’s clear that the doctor and the patient are both responsible here. (T84: NT08053).
Science hasn’t finished its research. (T102: NT08065).