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Int J Addict. 1993 May;28(6):571-82.

Reading ability in patients in substance misuse treatment centers.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Medicine, Shreveport 71130-3932.


Adult inpatients in state-supported (public) and private substance misuse treatment settings were tested for reading ability. Patient education materials and consent forms were assessed for readability levels. Public patients' mean reading levels were significantly lower than those of private patients, and were 4 to 5 years below the level needed to read and understand standard treatment materials. More than half of the public and almost one-third of the private patients tested were reading below a 9th grade level. Standard treatment materials were written on 11th to 12th grade reading levels; admission and consent forms were written on 12th to 18th grade levels. Patients in substance misuse settings should be tested for literacy levels upon admission and provided with materials commensurate with their reading ability.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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