How (not) to inform patients about drug use: Use and effects of negations in Dutch patient information leaflets

C.F. Burgers, C.J. Beukeboom, L Sparks, V. Diepeveen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


Purpose: Under EU regulations, patient information leaflets (PILs) are required to be clear and understandable. Negations (e.g., not, no) are a linguistic aspect that may impact PIL comprehension, yet go unmentioned in these regulations. We conducted two studies to determine (1) how negations are used in Dutch PILs (study 1) and (2) the effects of negations on readers (study 2). Methods: Study 1 was a content analysis of 30 PILs of different brands of pollinosis drugs, half of which were freely available in drugstores and half only by physician prescription. We mapped negation use in PIL sections on 'proper usage' and 'potential side effects'. Study 2 was an experiment in which participants (N=80, M
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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