Creating Patient Education Materials

Tools & Resources for MUHC Staff

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On This Page

1 — Patient Education at the MUHC

2 — Health Literacy 101

3 — Overview of Key Guides & Toolkits

4 — Developing PEMs: Language & Structure

5 — Developing PEMs: Visual Design & Layout

6 — Developing Online Resources

7 — Piloting & Assessing PEMs

8 — Presenting to Lay Audiences

9 — Some Further Reading

1 — Patient Education at the MUHC

For guidance and support in the development of patient education materials (PEMs) at the MUHC, please contact the Patient Education Committee (PEC).

The PEC aims to support the development and revision of PEMS at the MUHC, in accordance with institutional priorities and the needs of patients and families of the MUHC. It also produces and maintains standards and supporting documentation related to health literacy and the development of PEMs, validates the quality of materials produced, and promotes their dissemination throughout the institution.

Executive of the Patient Education Committee (PEC)

Andréa Laizner, Co-chair: andrea.laizner@muhc.mcgill.ca

Eileen Peterson, Co-chair: infoneuro@muhc.mcgill.ca

Dahlal Mohr-Elzeki, Secretary: dahlal.mohr-elzeki@muhc.mcgill.ca

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2 — Health Literacy 101

Health Literacy Basics | Centers for Disease Prevention and Control

A Definition of Health Literacy | Network of the National Library of Medicine 

What Is Health Literacy? | Chapitre 2 de Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, National Academies Press

A Vision for a Health Literate Canada: Report of the Expert Panel on Health Literacy | Canadian Public Health Association

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit | Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality

Quels sont les facteurs influençant le degré de littératie en santé ? | INSPQ

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3 — Overview of Key Guides & Toolkits

MUHC Standards for Developing Effective Written Patient Learning Materials

Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective | Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS.gov)

Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills  | Doak, Doak, & Root

Writing Health Information for Patients and Families | Hamilton Health Sciences

Plain Language Guidelines | Plain Language Action and Information Network (see menu on left of page)

Comment concevoir et adapter du matériel écrit de communication ? | INSPQ

Liste de contrôle pour faciliter la compréhension de matériel écrit | INSPQ

Pour qu’on se comprenne : Guide de littératie en santé | Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal

Communiquer pour tous : Guide pour une information accessible | Santé publique France

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4 — Developing PEMs: Language & Structure

Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications (link will launch a document download) | Centers for Disease Prevention and Control

Plain Language Medical Dictionary | University of Michigan

CLAD Thesaurus | Clear Language and Design

Everyday Words for Public Health Communication | Centers for Disease Prevention and Control

Clear Communication: Use Clear Words and Expressions | Government of Canada

Plain Language Lexicon | Plain Language Commission

Lexique des mots alternatifs | Réseau québécois des établissements promoteurs de la santé

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5 — Developing PEMs: Visual Design & Layout

MUHC Standards for Developing Effective Written Patient Learning Materials (see Standard 3, pp. 6-7)

Plain Language: Formatting and Visual Clarity | National Institutes of Health

Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective – Part 5: Guidelines for Design | CMS.gov

Writing Health Information for Patients and Families | Hamilton Health Sciences (see pp. 42-53)

Pour qu’on se comprenne : Guide de littératie en santé  | Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal (see Sections 4 & 5)

Communiquer pour tous : Guide pour une information accessible | Santé publique France (see pp. 45-58)

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6 — Developing Online Resources

Health Literacy Online | Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Health Literacy Online Strategies Checklist | Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Tips for Getting Started with Web Accessibility | W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Writing Health Information for Patients and Families | Hamilton Health Sciences (see pp. 54-57)

Accessibility Principles | W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Communiquer pour tous : Guide pour une information accessible | Santé publique France (see pp. 59-86)

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7 — Piloting & Assessing PEMs

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8 — Presenting to Lay Audiences

Explaining Your Science: Tips for Clear Communication | National Institute on Aging 

Communicating Your Science to the Non-Expert (link will launch a document download) | Society for Neuroscience 

Rendre compte sa recherche de façon captivante ! | Association québécoise de pédagogie collégiale

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9 — Some Further Reading

For more resources on health literacy and developing patient education materials, see the links below.

Please also feel free to contact the MUHC libraries to request literature searches or books and articles elated to health literacy.

Littératie en santé : Coin thématique | Cultures&Santé

Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations | National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine

International Handbook of Health Literacy | Policy Press

Roundtable on Health Literacy | National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine (see the workshop summaries under “Our Work”)

Digital Accessibility Foundations Free Online Course | W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Health Literacy Tool Shed | CommunicateHealth Inc., Boston University, et RTI International (health literacy measures)

“What’s New” Health Literacy E-newsletter | Health Literacy Consulting

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Last update: April 28, 2021