Patient information leaflets for prostate cancer: Which leaflets should healthcare professionals recommend?

C. E. Rees, J. E. Ford, C. E. Sheard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated 31 patient information leaflets (PILs) discussing treatment options for prostate cancer. In stage one, the authors evaluated the leaflets' quality, readability and suitability using objective measures: the DISCERN instrument; Flesch formula; and the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) instrument, respectively. Although the leaflets varied in terms of their scores on each measure, it was possible to identify the best five leaflets across the three conditions. In stage two, eight men with prostate cancer took part in a focus group discussion or individual interview to outline their views regarding a number of leaflets, including the best five booklets or leaflets identified in stage one of the study. The interviews were audiotaped and analysed using a template analysis. Patients were able to discriminate between the best five leaflets or booklets and identify their preferred booklets. These were the booklets: 'Understanding cancer of the prostate' by CancerBACUP, 'Prostate cancer: everything you need to know' by the Prostate Cancer Charity and 'The treatment of prostate cancer. Questions and answers' by the Covent Garden Cancer Research Trust. On the basis of their high ratings for the objective measures and patients' views, healthcare professionals are advised to recommend these three booklets to men with prostate cancer who want written information about the disease. However, randomised controlled trials are needed to examine the impact of these booklets on the psychosocial outcomes of men with prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Patient information leaflets
  • Prostate cancer
  • Quality
  • Readability
  • Suitability

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