Communicating evidence-based information on the effects of health interventions to various types of recipients – a qualitative study on the perception of formats of information among lay and professional audiences
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Department of Medical Sociology, Chair of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Department of Hygiene and Dietetics, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Corresponding author
Anna Prokop-Dorner   

Katedra Epidemiologii i Medycyny Zapobiegawczej Uniwersytet Jagielloński - Collegium Medicum, ul. Kopernika 7a, 31-034, Kraków, Poland
Introduction and objective:
Considering the complexity of medical discourse, the enormous amount of information, including fake news, it becomes increasingly challenging to develop health literacy among the general population and to ensure efficient communication of scientific findings on the effects of health interventions to various types of recipients. We aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of how the various types of audiences perceive various formats for presenting data from Cochrane systematic reviews (SRs).

Material and methods:
We conducted focus group interviews with university employees, students, pharmacists, patients, caregivers, physicians, and nurses. Participants were presented with the following information formats: plain language summary (PLS), an audio record of the PLS, summary of findings table, vlogshot, blogshot, infographic, press release, comic drawing, and scientific abstract. During a moderated discussion, participants were encouraged to share their opinions about usefulness of the formats and their strengths and weaknesses. The interviews were video recorded, transcribed, and coded. To identify the patterns of preferences, the method of constant comparison and visual display techniques were used.

The analysis revealed the various preferences regarding the presentation of health information. The following characteristics of the information emerged as the most important: trustworthiness, practical application, comprehensibility, information structure, graphical means used, clarity, individual reactions and interpretations.

Our study revealed several key factors that are considered by recipients when evaluating the various information formats. These include the way the information is presented, the perceived quality of the underlying studies, and individual benefits.

We thank Dr. Ivan Buljan and Professor Ana Marusic for sharing the protocol of the SPIRIT study. We thank Professor Joerg Meerpohl for his feedback on our research protocol. We thank Maciej Dziadyk and Joanna Wilkos for their help in creating the comic book and an audio record of plain language summary. We thank all study participants for their involvement in group discussions.
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