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J Neurosci Nurs. 2003 Jun;35(3):171-4.

MDA and AAEM informational brochures: can patients read them?

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  • 1Children's Hospital, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.


The purpose of this study was to assess patient literacy and the readability of patient education brochures from the American Academy of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Muscular Dystrophy Association. Materials with the appropriate readability and suitability are more likely to provide instruction patients will understand. The readability of the brochure was assessed with Grammatik (Fry, 1977), the literacy of the participants with the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy (REALM) in Medicine test, and the suitability of the brochure was tested with the Suitability Assessment of Materials measure (Doak, Doak, & Root, 1993). The average REALM score for participation in this study correlated with a reading level of 7th-8th grade. All six brochures were found to be too difficult for many patients. Readability levels in four of the brochures were at 11th- or 12th-grade levels, one at 9th grade, and one at 10th grade. Materials with readability levels for 9th grade or higher should be rewritten to be understandable by most Americans, or supplemental instruction should be given. Readability and suitability assessments should be made to determine whether educational materials are appropriate for patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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