Patient education materials – health promotion campaign

This pilot oral health promotion campaign used a co-design approach to develop patient education materials and health education resources specifically for pharmacists.

Background & challenge:

Dry mouth is a little-known medical condition that has a significant effect on quality of life and oral health outcomes for many people, such as those undergoing chemotherapy. Yet many of those who experience the condition are not aware that there are effective ways to deal with dry mouth.

Dry mouth affects how much saliva is produced in the mouth. It can be caused by medications, conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome or diabetes, nerve damage as well as the use of some drugs and alcohol.

With little community awareness about the condition, it often goes untreated.

In the short term this can be very uncomfortable, affecting for example, a person’s ability to speak and/or sleep. In the longer term the condition can cause significant oral health damage including increased rates of tooth decay, mouth/gum infections and tooth sensitivity. Dry mouth is the third most preventable cause of hospitalisation in Australia. It is much more common than people realise.

Our Solution:

In order to address the issue of dry mouth, Juntos Marketing partnered with North Richmond Community Health, Deakin University and La Trobe University . Our role included assisting in the design, development and promotion of a pilot study aiming to improve awareness within the community and management of the condition by pharmacists.

Initially we facilitated a co-design workshop involving a range of community members who experience dry mouth. Their input and contributions were integral to the development of the patient education materials used in the pilot. We also worked with a range of expert stakeholders on the project Advisory Group, in order to develop appropriate health education resources specifically tailored for community pharmacists. The Advisory Group included research experts, practicing pharmacists, representatives of professional bodies (PSA, Pharmacy Guild and ADA) and consumer representation.

As part of our role in the project, we assisted in the recruitment of community pharmacists in NSW and VIC. Participating pharmacists were provided with tailored educational materials that would enable them to discuss dry mouth and its management with consumers. Patient education materials were also distributed to participating pharmacists. The roles of the patient education materials were to improve awareness of the condition and educate consumers about the practical steps they can take to address the debilitating symptoms and the serious oral health impacts.

Specifically, patient flyers increased community awareness about the condition, and offered tips for alleviating symptoms. The stickers were used on prescriptions, to act as a visual reminder and as a prompt for clients to ask their pharmacist about their condition and ways to improve symptoms.

Flyers used to increase community awareness about oral health

Patient education materials produced to educate pharmacists and their clients.

What happened next:

The dry mouth pilot trial is currently underway. Pre and post implementation surveys are being used to assess the suitability and effectiveness of the printed materials and the trial as a whole. A qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with participating pharmacists is also planned. It is hoped that the findings will then guide the effective design and materials for use in a larger randomised trial.

 

If you would like assistance in producing engaging education resources or printed materials for your health research study please contact us for more information.  We’d love to help!

 

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