Literacy Level an Issue in Laryngectomy-Related Patient Ed

Reading difficulty exceeds ability of average U.S. adult; readability negatively tied to understandability

girl reading

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Current laryngectomy-related patient education materials are too difficult for an average American adult to understand, according to a study published online Aug. 16 in Head & Neck.

Kevin Wong, from the Boston University Medical Center, and colleagues evaluated laryngectomy-related educational materials from an online search using the validated Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool. The authors also calculated reading difficulty, and assessed the correlation between readability, understandability, and actionability.

Forty-four articles were included in the assessment. The researchers observed considerable inter-rater agreement (κ = 0.71). The mean understandability and actionability were 68.3 ± 17 percent and 66.3 ± 24 percent. Reading difficulty exceeded the ability of an average U.S. adult. Readability was negatively correlated with understandability (R = −0.49; P < 0.05).

"Current laryngectomy-related patient education materials are highly variable in understandability and actionability. Reading difficulty across all formulas also exceeded the eighth-grade reading level of an average American adult," the authors write. "Future revisions of laryngectomy-related educational materials may be warranted in order for current materials to benefit a wider readership."

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Physician’s Briefing Staff

Physician’s Briefing Staff

Published on August 21, 2017

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