Question 3: Is it relevant?
What the question is about and why it is important
A good quality publication will be suited to users’ needs. It is important that the information about a treatment choice or choices is relevant to your lifestyle and circumstances. The publication should not make recommendations that are unrealistic or contain assumptions or language that you find inappropriate or offensive.
Rating the question
Your judgement will be very important for rating this question. Your rating can take into account both the content and the presentation of the information about treatment choices.
Guidelines for rating the question:
5: Yes - the information is relevant.
2 - 4: Partially - the information is relevant to some extent.
1: No - the information is not at all relevant.
You are a middle-aged Asian man with high cholesterol. You have a large family, commute long distances and have very little spare time. Your diet consists of a mixture of Asian and English food. Your GP has given you a leaflet describing self-help treatment for high cholesterol. The leaflet provides dietary recommendations suited to various ethnic groups and tastes that can be easily incorporated into family meals. The leaflet also outlines a simple home-based exercise programme that can be included in your daily routine.
2 - 4 Partially rating:
You are a young person recently diagnosed with diabetes. You work long hours in a manual job and rent a room during the week. You are about to start daily insulin injections and your doctor has given you a booklet written especially for young people with diabetes. The information is technical but it is easy to understand and the style suits you. However, the information about using the treatment, its outcomes and impact on daily life assumes that all young people will be living at home with family and does not describe the implications of treatment for those living without family support or working.
You are a young pregnant mother with depression who is unsure whether to ask the doctor for some help. You picked up a leaflet written for women with depression at your local child health clinic. The leaflet describes drug therapies. The description of these treatments does not include any discussion of the use of such treatments during pregnancy or breastfeeding. No other treatment choices are mentioned.
You are a single, self-employed businesswoman who travels a lot and you live on your own. You are about to undergo surgery for a gynaecological problem and hope to get back to work quickly. The hospital has provided you with a factsheet about the procedure. However, the author assumes that all readers are married housewives, and discussion of the treatment and post-surgical care outlines the important role of the ‘husband’ and a return to ‘domestic duties’ only.