Balance appointment information leaflets: employing performance-based user-testing to improve understanding

Ruth E Brooke, Nicholas C Herbert, Sarah Isherwood, Peter Knapp, David K. Raynor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To use performance-based user-testing to evaluate the effectiveness of balance appointment patient information leaflets (PILs) in conveying important information. Design: The study used a sequential groups design. Twenty participants were asked to find and demonstrate understanding of 11 key points of information contained within two NHS leaflets, A and B (10 participants each), through individual structured-interviews. Participants’ views of the leaflets were explored through a short semi-structured interview. Following analysis, a revised leaflet was developed and tested on a further 20 participants. Study sample: 40 participants (25F/15M, aged 46–72) with no experience of balance problems or balance assessment appointments. Results: Participants exhibited difficulties with finding and/or understanding 5/11 and 6/11 points of information within leaflets A and B, respectively. Five out of eleven points of the revised leaflet also posed problems. Ten out of eleven points were understood by > 90% of participants testing the revised leaflet compared with 6/11 points for leaflets A and B. Conclusions: Some balance appointment PILs contain information which is difficult to find and/or understand for some readers. PILs should be evaluated prior to use using performance-based methods, since poor information provision may lead to increased patient anxiety and appointment non-attendance, cancellation, or postponement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-168
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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