Desire for information about drugs A multi‐method study in general medical inpatients
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The purpose of this paper is to investigate patients' drug information preferences using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Patient interviews (n=299) were conducted on general medical wards in three London teaching hospitals. The purpose was to refine and validate a quantitative 12‐item scale, the Intrinsic Desire for Information (IDI), by interfacing quantitative and qualitative data, and to explore the relationship between this scale score and patient demographics. The IDI‐scale was subjected to factor analysis. Two secondary factors were found in the IDI scale; a 5‐item factor describing the extent of information desired and a weaker 3‐item factor describing an inhibited desire for knowledge about illness/drugs. Reliability analysis and multiple regression analysis were undertaken. Responses to open answer questions during the qualitative interviews were transcribed at the bedside and imported into QSR NUD*IST software program for coding and analysis. The methodology employed in this study involved importing quantitative, summative data into a qualitative data base and re‐analysing both the quantitative and qualitative data to validate the scale. Age was a predominant factor associated with patient desire for information, although the data suggest that educational and socio‐economic status are also influential. Factor 1, the extent of information desired, may have value in targeting receptive patients, or in identifying those who may be refractory to drug information. The refined tool could help health services to effectively target information provision based on evidence, rather than supposition.
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