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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 97-100

Health Information in Hospital Waiting Rooms, Can it Act as a Vector in Health Promotion? Survey among Patients Attending Medical and Dental Hospitals


1 Department of Dentistry, Kamareddy Area Hospital, Kamareddy, Telangana, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
3 Department of Dentistry, Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad, Telangana, India

Date of Web Publication15-Feb-2018

Correspondence Address:
Jaidupally Ramvilas Reddy
9-61/1, BTM Colony, Sri Vivekananda Junior College, Shankarpally, Ranga Reddy - 501 203, Telangana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_57_17

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  Abstract 

Introduction: Patient health information materials, such as leaflets and posters are widely used by diverse health organizations and professionals as part of patient education or health promotion efforts and in support of preventive, treatment, and compliance objectives. Patient health information can be used to reinforce the information given previously, or it can serve as references to remind people of information they received earlier. Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the use of the patient health information materials in the hospital waiting halls by the patient and their perception on these health information materials. Methodology: A questionnaire study was conducted among the patients waiting in general hospitals and dental hospitals of Vikarabad district. A pretested (Cronbach α = 0.81) self-administered questionnaire was developed. Patients waiting in the waiting rooms and aged 18 years and above were included in the survey. Results: A total of 564 participants completed the questionnaires. A total of 141 respondents indicated reading the health information materials present in the waiting rooms. Majority of the participants stated that advertisements in the television will be the best method for promotion of health. More than 50% of the patients face difficulty in understanding the medical terms in the health information material. Conclusions: Study suggests that patients value health information materials in the waiting rooms and they perceive such materials as being helpful in improving health-related management and self-management.

Keywords: Dental hospitals, general hospitals, health information materials, waiting rooms


How to cite this article:
Reddy JR, Pravallika TS, Maddela J, Akula S. Health Information in Hospital Waiting Rooms, Can it Act as a Vector in Health Promotion? Survey among Patients Attending Medical and Dental Hospitals. J Dent Res Rev 2017;4:97-100

How to cite this URL:
Reddy JR, Pravallika TS, Maddela J, Akula S. Health Information in Hospital Waiting Rooms, Can it Act as a Vector in Health Promotion? Survey among Patients Attending Medical and Dental Hospitals. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 18];4:97-100. Available from: http://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2017/4/4/97/225631


  Introduction Top


Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment.[1]

Patient waiting halls are present in almost every hospital but they may vary in their size, and there is always room for information boards. This information board contains information on the practice and health promotion. Few waiting rooms are provided with the health information posters, leaflets, and advertisements in the television screens. Patients will be in the waiting hall for some time before consulting the doctor, and it depends on patient to choose how to spend their time in the waiting room. However, the opportunity for patient education should not be lost when patients are likely to be motivated by messages relating to better health.

Patient health information materials (PHIMs), such as leaflets and posters are widely used by diverse health organizations and professionals as part of patient education or health promotion efforts and in support of preventive, treatment, and compliance objectives.[2] Patient health information materials present in the waiting rooms can act as the substitute for the verbal communication between the patient and the doctor. Patients do not retain the majority of information provided by their physicians due to the lack of time during the consultation.[3] Therefore, leaflets and other health information materials may enhance adherence and promote lifestyle modifications by complementing and reinforcing the verbal message.[4]

Despite the availability of the health information materials in the waiting rooms on different topics, their impact on patient-doctor interaction, health-related knowledge, and self-management has rarely been assessed. No uniformity exists in the information available and how much they utilize it. Very little information is available on the patient's perception of the health information materials available in waiting rooms.

In this study, we assessed the use of the patient health information materials in the hospital waiting halls by the patient and their perception on these health information materials.


  Methodology Top


A questionnaire-based survey was conducted during September 2016 among the general and dental hospitals present in and around Vikarabad. A list containing 40 general hospitals and 16 dental hospitals was obtained from the district medical and health officer, of which 18 general and 12 dental hospitals permitted for the conduction of the study. As there were many general hospitals when compared to that of dental hospitals, proportionate sampling was followed to recruit the patients. A pilot study was conducted before the main study, based on which the sample was estimated to be 336 patients from general hospitals and 241 patients from dental hospitals.

A questionnaire was developed, which consisted of two parts. The first part assessed the use of the health information materials displayed in the waiting rooms. The second part assessed how patients perceived the impact of the health information material as “perceived effectiveness of materials in terms of discussing content with doctor and others.”

The questionnaire was prepared in English and then translated to Telugu language and pilot tested among 30 subjects to check for the reliability of the questionnaire (Cronbach α = 0.81) and the content validity ratio was 1. Patients were given the self-administered questionnaire. Patients who said they do not read the health information displayed were asked to indicate the reasons for disinterest. Patient's aged above 18 years and able to read Telugu or English were included in the study. Verbal consent was obtained from the patients who were willing to participate in the study. Ethical clearance was obtained from the institutional review board of Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery.

Descriptive analysis was done. Chi-square test was performed to analyze the differences in patient's opinions of medical and dental hospitals. The statistical analysis of the results was performed using Statistics Package for the Social Sciences version 21.0 (IBM Corp, Version 21.0, Armonk, NY: United States). The P value was set at 0.05.


  Results Top


A total of 564 participants completed the questionnaires. The mean age of the study participants was 29.2 years, with 61% male participation. About 33.5% of the respondents completed school level education, 36.2% completed their intermediate education, and 28.9% of the respondents held their graduation degree.

[Table 1] indicates the usage of waiting room health information materials. A total of 141 respondents indicated reading the health information materials present in the waiting room and with significant difference between general and dental hospitals patients (P = 0.043). Majority of the general hospital patients did not give attention to the health information materials present in the waiting rooms compared to dental hospital patients. About 46.2% of the patients from both the hospitals reported the inability to understand the content present in health information materials. When compared with the dental patients the patients waiting in the medical hospitals rarely understood the information materials [Table 1].
Table 1: General and dental patients' glimpse at health information materials present in waiting rooms

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The main reasons quoted for not reading the health information in waiting halls were: Subject of the health information does not interest me, and usually do not understand those difficult medical words [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Reasons for not reading the health information in the waiting room

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About 63% of respondents from both the hospitals agreed that they discuss the content of the health information materials with doctor during consultation. Greater percentage (61%) of patients agreed that reading health information made them ask less queries to doctor during consultation. The majority (81%) of the subjects were interested to receive health information on various topics with a significant difference among general and dental hospitals [Table 2]. For further health information, 76% of the participants from both the hospitals stated that they depend on the doctor, 4.62% on friends and 19.36% of them depended on the internet.
Table 2: Patients' perceptions on health information material

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There is no much difference among both the hospital patients in receiving health information in waiting rooms. Patients from both general and dental hospital opined that providing health information in patient waiting halls through television advertisements is the best method followed by audio messages [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Comparison of general and dental hospitals patients' in the in receiving health information

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  Discussion Top


Waiting rooms are a feature of every medical and dental practice. Patients can choose how to spend their time in the waiting room, but the opportunity for patient education should not be lost when patients are likely to be motivated by messages relating to better health.

This study demonstrated that patients value health information materials available in the waiting rooms. About 61% of patients waiting in both the general and dental hospitals noticed and read the health information materials present in the waiting halls. This finding is similar to the study conducted by Moerenhout et al.,[1] Nugent [5] and Ward et al.[2] where 94%, 66% and 78% of respondents stated that they noticed and read the health information materials. The patients consider reading the health information helps in enhancing their health-related knowledge and self-management. There is a significant difference among the general and dental patients in noticing the health information materials (P = 0.043). Many a times in the medical hospital, they take the appointment, they stay for less time in waiting hall, but there will be multiple dental visits for the treatments when compared with the medical visits. This gives an opportunity for the dental patients to notice and read the health information materials in waiting halls.

Albeit more than half of the patients reading the health information, about 46% of them stated that they rarely understood the content in them. These results are in contrast with a study conducted by Nugent [5] where more than three-quarters of the patients found the notice board easy to read. This difficulty was more among general hospital patients when compared with the patients waiting in dental hospitals (P = 0.000). The possible reason may be the dental health information materials are mostly depicted by illustrations, which made patients easily understand the content when compared with the medical health information materials where more medical terminologies are used.

The study conducted by Ward K et al.[2] showed that posters can increase awareness of health promotion issues, their messages are not necessarily effective in changing the patient's behavior and lifestyles. Ashe et al.[6] showed that public education in the form of waiting room posters was not sufficient to decrease antibiotic prescriptions.

Health information materials in the form of posters were preferred over the leaflets. These results are in contrast with the study conducted by Wickie et al.,[7] where the study results depicted that leaflets were more useful. The possible reason for preferring posters may be, many patients are present in the waiting hall and taking leaflets and reading the health information would make them feel embarrassed.

When asked about the disinterest in reading the health information materials, the major reason quoted was difficult to understand the medical terminology used. The health information materials must be prepared at a reading level suitable for the general population.

The impact of health information materials on the patient perceptions has been evaluated. The positive patient perceptions are considered to be an outcome of patient empowerment.[8] About 63% of the respondents discuss the health information content with the doctor. These results are in contrast with the study conducted by Moerenhout et al.[1] and Stephens et al.[9] where only 19% and 29% of the study participants discussed the content with their physician.

For further information regarding the health, majority (76%) of the patients enquired doctor followed by browsing the internet (19.36%). As the study setting is the rural area, patients rely mostly on their doctors for the further health information. Internet usage was directly proportional to the educational qualification. Hence, it is important to monitor which patients are turning to the internet to search for health information, why and how they are using it.

The majority (59.6%) of the patients from both the hospitals opted promotion of health information through television. These results are similar to the study conducted by the Meilleur and Littleton-Kearnery [10] who evaluated two studies of video interventions. In the one study that evaluated knowledge, knowledge was increased in the intervention group (P = 0.000) compared to controls. Anxiety was not significantly different between the groups in both of the studies whereas satisfaction was significantly higher in the video intervention group in both studies (P < 0.05 and P= 0.000). The study conducted by Lin et al.[8] and Wiese et al.[11] showed that videos have been successfully used to help patients understand what to expect during their care. In particular, patient education videos can be a relatively effective means of describing health-care procedures.

The higher the educational qualification, the more ease in understanding the health information materials (P = 0.000) was noticed. This is due to the fact that most of these health information materials are prepared based on the knowledge of the 10th grade, hence higher the level of education greater the extent of understanding the health information material.


  Conclusions Top


This study suggests that patients' value health information materials in waiting rooms and that they perceive such materials as being helpful in improving doctor interaction, health-related knowledge, and self-management. The clinic waiting room provides a setting to educate patients, family members, and other people who accompany patients to their appointments about health promotion, disease management, and other topics.

Recommendations

Instead of commercializing the waiting rooms the focus should be driven towards the health promotion which helps in the reinforcement of already present knowledge and increases the patient's empowerment. Efforts should be directed toward developing the health information materials using simple words which can be easily understandable to the patients. In dental clinics, most commonly there will be information regarding caries and oral cancer, unlike in a medical hospital where there will be varied information available on different diseases. Hence, the dental clinic waiting halls should be upgraded, or the same information should be provided in newer way. Information in local language should also be displayed or made available. Further studies in this field are recommended.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Moerenhout T, Borgermans L, Schol S, Vansintejan J, Van De Vijver E, Devroey D, et al. Patient health information materials in waiting rooms of family physicians: Do patients care? Patient Prefer Adherence 2013;7:489-97.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Ward K, Hawthorne K. Do patients read health promotion posters in the waiting room? A study in one general practice. Br J Gen Pract 1994;44:583-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Gignon M, Idris H, Manaouil C, Ganry O. The waiting room: Vector for health education? The general practitioner's point of view. BMC Res Notes 2012;5:511.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Oermann MH. Effects of educational intervention in waiting room on patient satisfaction. J Ambul Care Manage 2003;26:150-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Nugent C. Noticeboards-Portals for Health Promotion. Vol. 20. Forum Research; 2010. p. 19-20.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Stephens GS, Blanken SE, Greiner KA, Chumley HS. Visual prompt poster for promoting patient-physician conversations on weight loss. Ann Fam Med 2008;6 Suppl 1:S33-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Wicke DM, Lorge RE, Coppin RJ, Jones KP. The effectiveness of waiting room notice-boards as a vehicle for health education. Fam Pract 1994;11:292-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Lin PC, Lin LC, Lin JJ. Comparing the effectiveness of different educational programs for patients with total knee arthroplasty. Orthop Nurs 1997;16:43-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Ashe D, Patrick PA, Stempel MM, Shi Q, Brand DA. Educational posters to reduce antibiotic use. J Pediatr Health Care 2006;20:192-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Meilleur KG, Littleton-Kearney MT. Interventions to improve patient education regarding multifactorial genetic conditions: A systematic review. Am J Med Genet A 2009;149A: 819-30.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Jean Wiese H, Boethel C, Phillips B, Wilson JF, Peters J, Viggiano T, et al. CPAP compliance: Video education may help! Sleep Med 2005;6:171-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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