Medical Writing Writing for Patients Writing for patients: When and how?

Volume 29, Issue 4 - Writing for Patients

Writing for patients: When and how?


The move towards patient engagement and patient involvement in healthcare decisions (“shared care”) has triggered a raft of new guidances from regulatory authorities, accompanied by new regulations mandating that pharmaceutical companies engage with patients and the general public in a way that has been improbable up to now. While this has generally been supported and welcomed by both industry and patients, the initiative has brought with it considerable challenges. Producing complex scientific and medical information in health-literate language that is appropriate and helpful for the general public (“plain language”) requires skills beyond those usually required for communicating with healthcare professionals and regulatory authorities. Medical writers are highly trained in a specific technical writing style and tone that is aimed at readers with a very high level of literacy, and often considerable scientific and medical knowledge. Translating this information into plain language for readers who may have low health literacy, and perhaps little or no scientific or medical knowledge, is a significant challenge – as reflected in the level of information currently available

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Editorial - Writing for Patients
Editorials - Passing the Torch: The Sequel/Filling Big Shoes
Foreword: Writing for Patients, Foreword from the EMA
President's Message
Promoting equity in understanding: A cross-organisational plain language glossary for clinical research
Medical abbreviations with multiple meanings: A prescription for disaster
Writing for patients: When and how?
Lay summaries for Phase 1 trials in healthy volunteers
Participant information – an ethics committee view
Establishing a patient publication steering committee: A case study with insights for medical writers
Translation: A transcultural activity
Writing for the internet
Social Media: A tool that can benefit public health?
Partnering with patient associations: Engaging medical writers to support health literacy for patients
Pharmaceutical clinical trials transparency and privacy
News from the EMA
Medical Devices
Regulatory Matters
In the Bookstores
Good Writing Practice
My First Medical Writing
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Out on Our Own

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  • Amy Whereat (SpeaktheSpeech Consulting, Asnieres sur Seine, France)

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