TBD: Digital product information tailored to patients’ needs based on a theoretical framework of behavioural change
KU Leuven Belgium
Since unclear product information to patients may lead to lack of treatment adherence and safety risks, this study aimed to evaluate i) what digital product information is appropriate and validated to offer to patients and ii) how this information can be tailored to patients’ needs and preferences.
This study was conducted as part of the IMI project Gravitate Health and consisted of a literature review of available product information. Further, the Patient Health Engagement model was applied to align the delivery format of the product information with patients’ literacy and engagement levels.
First, this study acquired knowledge on the different available types of information on medicinal products (e.g., the patient information leaflet (PIL), summary of product characteristics, electronic product information, and European public assessment report) and health information sources providing the different types of information to patients. The joined evaluation of the Gravitate Health (GH) members revealed that the PIL is the most suitable type of information for the focused information approach, i.e., tailoring digital product information to patients’ needs and preferences. The PIL was considered most suitable for further exploitation during the GH project because it has a high level of trust, a regulated status, and it is easily accessible to patients. It was also seen that the PIL is the type of information most frequently provided by health information sources. Second, the evaluation of the delivery format of the health information sources revealed that most of the sources require high levels of health literacy, digital literacy, and engagement of the patient. Each patient is in another stage of disease acceptance and active engagement in their health condition which influences their preferences regarding the delivery format of product information. These different stages of the patient’s journey were represented in the theoretical framework of behavioural change, i.e., the Patient Health Engagement (PHE) model. The PHE model can be applied to categorize patients in four different phases. Based on the PHE phase of the patient, the results showed that different delivery formats can be presented to each patient to meet their preferences and ability to understand the information. This focused information approach was seen to be necessary since not all health information sources are exploitable for every patient, e.g., a high-level literacy and engagement source is not suitable or understandable for patients with low literacy levels in the lowest PHE stage.
This study was able to give valuable recommendations for the focused information approach being developed in the GH project that will continue in the next years. The results revealed that the PIL is the most suitable type of information for the focused information approach. However, health information sources providing the PIL require high levels of literacy and engagement of the patients, and the format of health information delivery is considered complex and mostly only understandable for patients with high levels of literacy and engagement. To address these concerns, patients with low levels of literacy and engagement could benefit the most from focused information to improve their understanding and processing capabilities. The PHE model was considered an appropriate framework that supports the process of customizing the delivery format of trusted information to the patients. This focused information approach can provide patients with trusted and understandable information in the most suitable delivery format, tailored to their preferences and capabilities. Further validation and application of the PHE model during the GH project may result in increased treatment adherence and safer use of medications, resulting in better health outcomes and overall patients’ well-being.