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Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(11):2245

For over 10 years now, AFP has published health information for you to photocopy and hand out to your patients. Most of these patient information handouts accompany the clinical review articles of AFP and are written by the same authors. Authors are given guidelines to help them focus on information that will help patients understand and manage their conditions.

The patient information handouts in AFP go through a review and edit by our medical editors and review by a panel of family physician peers. Once the medical content has been evaluated, the patient information handout is tailored to the appropriate reading level by the journal's professional editing staff. Research has shown that, on average, patients read at the sixth or seventh grade level, and that's the target reading level for AFP's handouts.

Once AFP's patient information handouts are published, they are made available online along with the rest of the journal content, Many of AFP's handouts are stored and updated regularly on the official patient information Web site of the American Academy of Family Physicians, at

AFP's patient information handouts may also be tailored and updated as part of a collection on a specific topic. This issue has three patient information handouts on topics in women's health (starting on page 2369): “Endometrial Cancer,” “Pap Smears: When Yours Is Slightly Abnormal,” and “Ovarian Cyst.”

You might want to look for some of these patient information collections that were published in recent issues:

  • Tips on weight loss (January 1, 2003)

  • Exercising for better health (January 15, 2003)

  • Respiratory infections (February 15, 2003)

  • Memory loss and dementia (March 1, 2003)

  • Managing shoulder problems (March 15, 2003)

  • Contraception (April 1, 2003)

  • Coronary artery disease (April 15, 2003)

If you have topics to request for other patient information collections or suggestions to make AFP's patient information handouts or patient information collections more helpful, we would love to hear from you. You may write down your thoughts on the feedback card in this issue, located in the “Clinical Quiz” section under the answer card (see page 2257). You can also write to us at or give us a call (800-274-2237, ext. 5108).

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Copyright © 2003 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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