Applying user testing to improve the content, design and wording of Injectable Medicines Guide monographs

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of user testing for improving healthcare professionals’ retrieval and comprehension of information in medicines guidance.

Methods: The United Kingdom’s Injectable Medicines Guide (IMG) was selected as a case study. Three rounds of user testing were completed with ten hospital nurses per round, using the IMG guidelines for voriconazole and aminophylline. Participants were asked 17 questions related to the administration of these medicines, which they attempted to answer using the guidelines. Their responses were scored for “finding” and “understanding” the required information. Next, semi-structured interviews explored participants’ opinions of content, design and wording, with responses analysed thematically. The guidelines were revised between rounds.

Results: Round 1: 8/17 questions were answered correctly by all participants.
Participants had difficulty with questions about dose, dilution, administration rate and adverse effects. Revisions included new sub-sections and increased support for calculations. Round 2: 14/17 questions were answered correctly by all participants. Difficulty persisted with questions regarding dose and administration rate and further revisions made. Round 3: 15/17 questions were answered correctly by all participants. Across all rounds, participants described opinions on a range of themes. Appropriate sub-headings and information order were viewed as important for fast location of information. Specific, detailed and practical instructions were perceived as important to improve understandability and usefulness.

Conclusions: Key information in medicines guidance may not be found and/or
understood by healthcare professionals. User testing increased information retrieval and comprehension and could have an important role in improving the safety of medicines use.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages122
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2019

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