Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Title: Patients, health information, and guidelines: A focus-group study
Author(s): Liira, Helena
Saarelma, Osmo
Callaghan, Margaret
Harbour, Robin
Jousimaa, Jukkapekka 
Kunnamo, Ilkka
Loudon, Kirsty
McFarlane, Emma
Treweek, Shaun
Keywords: Clinical guidelines
focus groups
general practice
patient information
patient versions
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Liira H, Saarelma O, Callaghan M, Harbour R, Jousimaa J, Kunnamo I, Loudon K, McFarlane E & Treweek S (2015) Patients, health information, and guidelines: A focus-group study, Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 33 (3), pp. 212-219.
Abstract: Background. Evidence-based clinical guidelines could support shared decision-making and help patients to participate actively in their care. However, it is not well known how patients view guidelines as a source of health information. This qualitative study aimed to assess what patients know about guidelines, and what they think of their presentation formats. Research question. What is the role of guidelines as health information for patients and how could the implementation of evidence-based information for patients be improved? Methods. A qualitative study with focus groups that were built around a semi-structured topic guide. Focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed and analysed using a phenomenographic approach. Results. Five focus groups were carried out in 2012 with a total of 23 participants. Patients searched for health information from the Internet or consulted health professionals or their personal networks. The concepts of guidelines included instructions or standards for health professionals, information given by a health professional to the patient, and material to protect and promote the interests of patients. Some patients did not have a concept for guidelines. Patients felt that health information was abundant and its quality sometimes difficult to assess. They respected conciseness, clarity, clear structure, and specialists or well-known organizations as authors of health information. Patients would like health professionals to deliver and clarify written materials to them or point out to them the relevant Internet sites. Conclusions. The concept of guidelines was not well known among our interviewees; however, they expressed an interest in having more communication on health information, both written information and clarifications with their health professionals.
DOI Link:
Rights: Available under the Creative Commons Attribution License. License text at:

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Liira focus group study 2015.pdf1.44 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.