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The Usefulness of Patients Receiving Their Own Letter After an Outpatient Attendance

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00129636
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 12, 2005
Last Update Posted : October 4, 2019
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Imperial College London

Brief Summary:

As part of the NHS plan it has been proposed to extend some consultants' usual practices and to send all patients copies of the letters sent to their general practitioners (GPs) following outpatient consultations. The current Secretary of State for Health has further extended this proposal and suggested that patients should have a specific letter to themselves after a hospital consultation.

The aim of this study is to send patients both a copy of the letter sent to their GPs and a specific letter to themselves and to assess the usefulness and comprehensibility of each.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Heart Diseases Lung Diseases Procedure: Additional specific letter written to patient Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

As part of the NHS plan it has been proposed to extend some consultants' usual practices and to send all patients copies of the letters sent to their general practitioners following outpatient consultations. The current Secretary of State for Health has further extended this proposal and suggested that patients should have a specific letter to themselves after a hospital consultation.

The aim of this study is to send patients both a copy of the letter sent to their GPs and a specific letter to themselves and to assess the usefulness and comprehensibility of each. This study will assess the two styles of letter in Cardiology and Respiratory Outpatient Clinics staffed by 7 consultants and will involve a group of 15-20 patients from each of the clinics, total number approximately 150 patients.

All patients attending the clinics will be given a sheet outlining the study before their consultations. If they are interested in the study, patients will be given a Patient Information Sheet and asked consent to take part. The length of each of the two dictated letters will be recorded. To avoid costs to the NHS, the direct to patient letters will be typed at the study investigators' cost. Two copies of each letter, a short explanatory letter and a questionnaire will be sent to the patient and the patient will be asked to circle points in each of the letters which are unclear and return them to the department. At the end of the study the general practitioners will be contacted and asked their views about the two letters.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 84 participants
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: A Study to Determine the Usefulness of Patients Receiving Their Own Letter After an Outpatient Attendance Compared to Receiving a Copy of the Letter Being Sent to Their General Practitioner
Actual Study Start Date : March 2004
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2005
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2005

Arm Intervention/treatment
Patient attending hospital clinic
patients were sent a letter especially dictated for them and a copy of the letter written by the hospital consultant to their GP to review
Procedure: Additional specific letter written to patient



Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Comprehensibility of the two styles of letter [ Time Frame: Baseline ]
    (length, reading ease, Flesch Kincaid Grade, items misunderstood)


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Patient preferences for the letters [ Time Frame: baseline ]
    Patients indicated a preference for either the GP and patient letter or both

  2. Deficiencies in the patient letter [ Time Frame: baseline ]
    Deficiencies highlighted by the GP on the patient letter



Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.


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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 90 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All patients attending respiratory/cardiology outpatient clinics

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with reading/language difficulties

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00129636


Locations
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United Kingdom
NHLI Imperial College
London, United Kingdom, W6 8RF
Sponsors and Collaborators
Imperial College London
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Martyn R Partridge, MD FRCP Imperial College London

Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: Imperial College London
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00129636    
Other Study ID Numbers: NHLICX3762
First Posted: August 12, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 4, 2019
Last Verified: October 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Imperial College London:
post consultation letter
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Lung Diseases
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases