Simpler health information key to self care

Making health information simpler would support more people to practise self care, suggests a survey by RB for Self Care Week (14-20 November 2016).

The ‘RB Knowledge for Health Survey’ highlighted that although the general public is willing to self care, health literacy, which is the focus of this year's Self Care Week, represents a major barrier to behavioural change.

The survey garnered opinions from 3,000 members of the general public from UK, Germany and USA. 89 per cent of respondents agreed that people should take more responsibility for their own health and two thirds (67 per cent) thought that more medicines for common, well understood conditions should be made available over the counter without a prescription.

However, the RB survey also revealed that some find it harder than others to understand basic health information with 20 per cent of respondents admitting they hardly ever or never find it easy to understand the information on or inside a medicine packet.

When asked what could be done to make health information easier to understand:

  • Half said they would like to see information made simpler and more concise
  • 42 per cent would like to see fewer medical terms
  • 30 per cent would prefer more visual information with pictures and diagrams
  • 18-24 year olds would like to access health information online in video format (20 per cent)
  • 28 per cent would like to see the format of health information standardised across brands and products to make it easier for people to understand.

Rakesh Kapoor, CEO, RB said: “We continually strive to provide consumer health innovations that enable people to self care and improving health literacy is a critical part of the puzzle. We need better recognition and awareness of the vital role of self care and the associated wide ranging public health benefits.”

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