Development and validity of a method for the evaluation of printed education material

Main Article Content

Mauro S. Castro
Diogo Pilger
Flavio D. Fuchs
Maria B. Ferreira


Patient Education, Comprehension, Validation studies, Brazil


Objectives: To develop and study the validity of an instrument for evaluation of Printed Education Materials (PEM); to evaluate the use of acceptability indices; to identify possible influences of professional aspects.

Methods: An instrument for PEM evaluation was developed which included tree steps: domain identification, item generation and instrument design. A reading to easy PEM was developed for education of patient with systemic hypertension and its treatment with hydrochlorothiazide. Construct validity was measured based on previously established errors purposively introduced into the PEM, which served as extreme groups. An acceptability index was applied taking into account the rate of professionals who should approve each item. Participants were 10 physicians (9 men) and 5 nurses (all women).

Results: Many professionals identified intentional errors of crude character. Few participants identified errors that needed more careful evaluation, and no one detected the intentional error that required literature analysis. Physicians considered as acceptable 95.8% of the items of the PEM, and nurses 29.2%. The differences between the scoring were statistically significant in 27% of the items. In the overall evaluation, 66.6% were considered as acceptable. The analysis of each item revealed a behavioral pattern for each professional group.

Conclusions: The use of instruments for evaluation of printed education materials is required and may improve the quality of the PEM available for the patients. Not always are the acceptability indices totally correct or represent high quality of information. The professional experience, the practice pattern, and perhaps the gendre of the reviewers may influence their evaluation. An analysis of the PEM by professionals in communication, in drug information, and patients should be carried out to improve the quality of the proposed material.


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