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Am J Otolaryngol. 2013 Jan-Feb;34(1):31-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2012.08.001. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Readability assessment of online patient education materials from academic otolaryngology-head and neck surgery departments.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study was to compare the readability of online patient education materials among academic otolaryngology departments in the mid-Atlantic region, with the purpose of determining whether these commonly used online resources were written at a level readily understood by the average American.

METHODS:

A readability analysis of online patient education materials was performed using several commonly used readability assessments including the Flesch Reading Ease Score, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, Gunning Frequency of Gobbledygook, the New Dale-Chall Test, the Coleman-Liau Index, the New Fog Count, the Raygor Readability Estimate, the FORCAST test, and the Fry Graph.

RESULTS:

Most patient education materials from these programs were written at or above an 11th grade reading level, considerably above National Institutes of Health guidelines for recommended difficulty.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patient educational materials from academic otolaryngology Web sites are written at too difficult a reading level for a significant portion of patients and can be simplified.

PMID:
22959363
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjoto.2012.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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