Evaluating the clinical application of a leaflet for clinical practice guideline in patients with lumbar herniated intervertebral discs: Randomized controlled trial

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Background:This study aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of using clinical practice guideline (CPG) leaflets as a communication tool between doctors and patients. We evaluated the leaflets as a communication tool in the treatment of lumbar herniated intervertebral discs (HIVDs) in terms of patient and physician satisfaction and ease of treatment.Methods:This study is a 2-parallel-arm, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial at Jaseng Hospital, Seoul, South Korea. We evaluated efficacy through a comparison of satisfaction and clinical outcomes in randomly allocated groups of HIVD lumbar patients visiting Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine. We used leaflets on the basis of Korean medicine CPG recommendations as an intervention. The intervention group received treatment and diagnosis using the leaflet, and the control group received the typical intervention, which was provided without the leaflet.Results:The levels of patient satisfaction with and understanding of the doctors’ explanation was 92% in the leaflet group and 64% in the nonleaflet group, which showed that, compared with patient satisfaction in the nonleaflet group, patient satisfaction was considerably higher by 28% in the leaflet group. In addition, the level of the reliability with treatment was 92% in the leaflet group and 64% in the control group. However, there were no significant differences in statistical analyses. The level of doctors’ satisfaction with communicating with patients using the leaflet was 100% in the leaflet group. Given this satisfaction, the ease of persuasion of treatment was highest (84%) and followed the improvement in the patient's understanding of the treatment (16%) in the leaflet group. In addition, in the nonleaflet user group, almost all doctors thought that having a leaflet would be a more effective treatment.Conclusion:Although this study failed to show significant differences between the intervention and control groups, the leaflet, which included CPG information in the treatment of HIVD patients, was an effective communication tool between patients and doctors. However, further studies with larger samples should be conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the communication tool based on the CPG.Trial registration number: Clinical Research Information Service: KCT0001762

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