This page contains a poster presented at the 19th Annual Meeting of ISMPP (International Society for Medical Publication Professionals), April 24-26, 2023.

Authors and affiliations

Shobana Ganesana, Ninad Ranadea, Swapna Ganduria, and Namita Bosea

aCactus Life Sciences, Cactus Communications, Mumbai, India


Objective: An important feature of a patient-centered care model is the use of patient-first language (PFL), which aims to avoid stigma by emphasizing the person over their disability or medical condition.1-3 We assessed PFL usage in medical literature and awareness/perspectives among medical communications (medcomm) professionals.

Research design and methods: We conducted PubMed® searches across 9 medical conditions in 5 therapy areas using predefined PFL and non-PFL terms. Five journals (across a range of impact factors) specific to each condition, identified on PubsHub™, were scanned for PFL‑specific guidelines. A 10-question awareness/perspectives survey was also conducted.

Results: Non-PFL usage was higher or similar to PFL usage in a majority of the conditions examined (5 of 9) (Table). Most journals did not have explicit guidelines for PFL usage. Of 121 survey respondents, 79% were aware of PFL and 69% believed in PFL’s ability to reduce stigma (Table).

Conclusions: Awareness and belief in PFL principles are high among medcomm professionals; however, proactive steps are needed to increase usage in medical literature.


Access more details of this study here.

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Cactus Life Sciences
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Cactus Life Sciences is a medical communication company that provides scientific strategy and content across the healthcare continuum, anywhere in the world ─ with a focus on science, innovation, and efficiency. We work alongside leading healthcare companies to establish the optimal role of medicines and encourage positive behaviors (physician and patient) that improve patient outcomes.