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Older patients' involvement in their health care: can paper-based tools help? A feasibility study in 11 European countries

Three paper-based tools to enhance older patients’ involvement in general practice care have been used and evaluated by 63 general practitioners (GPs) and 351 patients in 10 European countries and Israel within the IMPROVE project. In all countries thetested tools were helpful for some patients, by encouraging them to ask questions, address important issues and offer their own opinions. In none of the participating countries were the tools suitable to be used universally with all older patients, andsometimes they even hindered patient involvement. In everyday practice, tools may be used from time to time, in order to remind and motivate older patients and their GPs to pay more attention to the patient’s view. GPs should tailor the choice and the use of any instrument to the individual patient, and it should be the patient’s choice whether to use a specific tool or not.


Michel Wensing, Anja Klingenberg, Hilary Hearnshaw, Pedro Lopes Ferreira, Joachim Szecsenyi

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