The mental health information available to people with bipolar affective disorder is variable in quality. We conducted a qualitative survey in an urban out-patient department to elicit the opinions of people with bipolar affective disorder on the written information provided by three health information providers.
Participants' responses were generally positive for each leaflet. The two leaflets rated highest by participants used quality assurance tools. However, 20-30% had difficulty understanding the leaflets. Medical jargon and verbosity were common criticisms.
Professional bodies such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists play an important role in providing patients with written information. Quality assurance standards should be used in the production of patient information. A tool measuring individuals' appraisal of information may ensure information is appropriate to their requirements.
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