Kasper J, Heesen C, Mühlhauser I.

The article elucidates consideration of scientific criteria for the development and design of evidence-based patient information (EBPI). Immunotherapy of multiple sclerosis serves as an example. Since in EBPI lack of evidence or ambiguities in available evidence are explicitly communicated, processing of EBPI does not necessarily lead to certainty about benefit and harms of medical interventions. However, only if the information is comprehensive in this respect can the EBPI be regarded as a robust basis for an informed choice. EBPI requires substantial developmental efforts. Regarding the growing number of medical interventions and the half-life of information, the question of responsibility for provision of EBPI is crucial. A vision is drafted in which EBPI is driven by demand of the patients and the public and is provided according to a costs-by-cause principle by those who distribute usual information hitherto. Trained patient advocates can appraise quality of information by use of instruments that consider criteria of EBPI. Critical health literacy should evolve early in school and can later on enhance usefulness of EBPI for people concerned with health issues.

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2009;52:77-85.

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