This study aims to assess the views of adolescent patients with Learning Disability (APLD) and their carers, on a Medicines Information (MI) leafletMethods
A questionnaire was devised with 10 questions. Its purpose was to find out if APLD/carers thought the MI leaflet was useful and if they would recommend it. The MI leaflet includes information about preparation before a hospital appointment; problems patients may face with their medicines, medicine interactions and information resources. ‘Full of life’ is a charity that supports families who care for APLD. Patients and carers from the charity were invited to attend a focus group. MI leaflets and questionnaires were distributed for comment, to those who attended. Ethics approval was not required for this study. Data was assessed using Microsoft Excel.Results
20 questionnaires were distributed, 17 completed questionnaires were returned at the end of the session (85% response rate). 70% (n=12) of questionnaires were completed by carers, 24% (n=4) by family members and 1% (n=1) by a patient. 100% (n=17) of carers/patients who read the MI leaflet found it useful. Over 70% (n=12) stated that the leaflet had improved their understanding about medications. All patients/carers would recommend the leaflet to others. Comments about features that patient/carer’s liked included: ‘Very informative’ and ‘I like the colour of the leaflet, the writing is simple to understand’. The patients/carers were asked about ways the leaflet could be improved. Comments included; ‘Laminate the leaflet’, ‘Make the background colour lighter to make the text stand out.’ Limitations included a small sample size, over a short period of time. Patients were sampled from a patient charity focus group, so not representative.Conclusion
APLD may regularly access healthcare services and are faced with challenges. Patients can find it difficult to explain their health conditions and have problems with speech and language structure. This can lead to important medical information being missed.1 UK health organisations have been actively engaged in improving the care for patients with LD.2 The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has resolved to ‘pay particular attention to the needs of people in more vulnerable circumstances’.3 Our multi-disciplinary team have developed a MI leaflet for APLD. Overall, the MI leaflet was received very positively. The extent of an LD can vary significantly; the MI leaflet has been designed for the ‘higher level learners’.Conclusion
For other patients, with less capacity, the leaflet would be more suited to be used by carers. Opportunities for future work include a ‘more visual, simplistic’ leaflet for ‘lower level learners’.