Patient Information Handouts From American Academy of Family Physicians

By Carol Mulvihill, R.N., C, B.S.N., CQ Editor

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has a web site which features a vast array of excellent patient information handouts which are pertinent to college health practice. The information is credible because of the source, well-researched, and the non-profit educational use of the information is not restricted. The AAFP is to be commended for this tremendous health educational service which they are providing to consumers and health professionals as well.

Gerald Fleischli, M.D., University Health Service, University of Oregon gave a "thumbs up" to this web site in a recent posting to the SHS (Student Health Service) Listserv:
"One site that I've liked for patient handouts is that of the
American Academy of Family Physicians at
It lists all of the patient education materials that we see in "American Family Physician" (the AAFP's clinical journal)... about 200 of them over the past several years."

The 'handouts' have the following statement on the bottom: "Permission is granted to reproduce this material for nonprofit educational purposes. Written permission is required for other uses, including electronic uses."

I have checked out this content-rich web site and agree with Jerry on the usefulness of the information for college health practitioners and patients.

The patient handouts are conveniently arranged into four main categories: The Body, Common Conditions/Diseases/Disorders, Treatments, and Healthy Living.

I increased my knowledge just by reading the handout on How to Cope With Meniere's Disease, which I found in their listing under The Body/Ears. Under the treatment suggestions, it said,"Controlling the level of salt in your body will indirectly control the amount of fluid in the inner ear canals. A medicine called a diuretic (water pill) may also help. You should limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol in your diet, and quit smoking if you smoke." Did you know about sodium restriction and the use of diuretics for Meniere's disease? I didn't. It is useful information that can be passed on to a student either in handout form or in verbal discussion of useful treatment stategies for Meniere's. In fact, limiting sodium, caffeine, and alcohol, and quitting smoking may be worthwhile recommendations for any student with symptoms of inner ear congestion.

The AAFP website deserves a bookmark. I encourage every nurse in college health to check it out.

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