Many self-help groups produce and publish information for patients.
There are quality criteria for patient informationhttp://www.discern.org.uk/index.php
A good quality publication about treatment choices will:
- Have explicit aims
- Achieve its aims
- Be relevant to consumers
- Make sources of information explicit
- Make date of information explicit
- Be balanced and unbiased
- List additional sources of information
- Refer to areas of uncertainty
- Describe how treatment works
- Describe the benefits of treatment
- Describe the risks of treatment
- Describe what would happen without treatment
- Describe the effects of treatment choices on overall quality of life
- Make it clear there may be more than one possible treatment choice
- Provide support for shared decision-making
Concerning websites there should also be the date of actualization and a data privacy statement. There should not be any brand name of pharmaceuticals mentioned.
If the information is authored by experts they should be named as well as the hospitals (address) they work with.