Endocrine Abstracts (2015) 38 SK2.2 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.38.SK2.2

The battles of writing a lay summary

Joanna Grey

Association for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Disorders (AMEND), Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.

Lay summary uses are multitudinous with their overall purpose being to engage the average person’s interest and thereafter increase their understanding of a subject unfamiliar to them. In medicine, there is rightly an emphasis on ensuring that a patient fully understands what is happening to them in order that they may become an effective participatory member in their own care. However, literacy levels are surprisingly low, even in developed nations, and it therefore follows that this has a knock-on negative effect on health literacy. Consequently, considerable careful effort is required when communicating complex medical topics to lay people. The Association for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Disorders (AMEND) has worked hard since 2002 to help families and other interested people to better understand the complex genetic multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) conditions. The evolution of AMEND’s patient information resources, together with other work undertaken over the years in a variety of arenas, including research, provides an interesting and thought-provoking snap-shot of issues to consider as well as tools with which to arm yourself in order to win your lay summary battle.

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