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Question 2: Does it achieve its aims?

What the question is about and why it is important

A good quality publication will provide the information it has aimed to provide. Question 2 is designed to help you assess whether the information about a treatment choice or choices that was promised at the beginning of the publication has actually been provided. This question is important because a publication that does not achieve its aims is incomplete and you may need more information before you can make a decision about treatment.

Rating the question

After reading the publication, you should refer back to the aims and consider whether all of the information about treatment choices that you were led to expect has been provided.

Guidelines for rating the question:

  • 5: Yes - all the information you were expecting from a description of the aims has been provided.

  • 2 - 4: Partially - some of the information you were expecting from the aims has been provided.

  • 1: No - none of the information you were expecting from the aims has been provided.

If the publication did not have clear aims (rated ‘1’ on Question 1), Question 2 is irrelevant and should not be answered. If aims were outlined but were not clear or were incomplete (rated ‘partial’ on Question 1), you need to use your judgement to decide what expectations the aims had raised and then rate to what extent those expectations have been fulfilled.


5 rating:

A leaflet aims to inform consumers about surgical treatments for a condition. The aims indicate that options other than surgery are available (drugs, diet) but that these are not the subject of the publication. In accordance with its aims, the leaflet provides an explanation of why surgery may have been recommended, and describes in detail what it involves and how it may treat the condition.

2 - 4 Partially rating:

A publication aims to provide information about treatment for AIDS, with no mention of any particular focus or omissions. However, the publication provides detailed information about vitamin therapies but does not refer to any other forms of treatment.

1 rating:

A leaflet written for people with a neurological condition aims to help them look after themselves and offers self-help strategies. The leaflet provides a detailed account of the symptoms and diagnosis of the condition, and focuses on employment and benefit rights. The only reference to self-help as a treatment choice is a brief sentence about the importance of avoiding stress, but there is no advice about how this can be done or of the outcomes of any stress management techniques.