Journal Club: Providing patient information and education in practice

Meeting date: November 22, 2016

Presenter: Catherine Young

Citation: Truccolo I. (2016). Providing patient information and education in practice: the role of the health librarian. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 33(2), 161-6.


  1. How does the author’s concept of patient education differ from the definition of CAPHIS/MLA?
  2. What job functions does the author describe/mention that support patient education? Which of these job functions, if any, were new to you?
  3. What could you take from this article and apply in your own work, assuming time was not a factor?

Article abstract: In this article, guest writer Ivana Truccolo presents an overview of her work at the Scientific and Patient Library of a Cancer Comprehensive Centre in Italy coordinating the patient education process. She discusses the historical evolution of the concept of patient education and how this has run alongside the role of the health librarian in the provision of consumer health information. Details are provided about various patient education programmes in place at the Centre. In particular, various activities are discussed including patient education classes, the development of patient education handouts and a narrative medicine programme which includes a literary competition. The article concludes with a specific outline of the role the health librarian can play in the provision of consumer health information and patient education. H.S.

Reason for selection: Providing consumer health resources and patient education have become more common job activities of hospital librarians, with some positions now entirely focused on them. As the amount of available health information grows, including poor quality and false information, hospital librarians are increasingly being asked, and have the needed knowledge and skills, to recommend sources of and provide patients and families with reliable health information. This article provides a current example of the changing role of a cancer centre librarian now involved in the patient education process.