An Evaluation of the Readability of Commercially Developed Health Education Pamphlets for Women

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/163741
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
An Evaluation of the Readability of Commercially Developed Health Education Pamphlets for Women
Author(s):
Freda, Margaret
Author Details:
Margaret Freda, EdD, Associate Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA, email: FREDA@AECOM.YU.EDU
Abstract:
Purpose: Readability, defined as the ease of understanding and reading a document, has been shown to be an essential factor in the appropriate use of written health educational materials by clients, for if the material cannot be read, it cannot be understood. Previous research has shown that readability is too seldom considered when health education materials are developed, or when they are adopted for use in a clinical setting. The purpose of this study was to determine the readability level of some of the most commonly used patient educational materials in Women's Health. Because patient education is commonly carried out by giving women pamphlets produced by reputable organizations, it is essential that those written health education materials be evaluated for their readability. Research Question: What is the readability level of the patient education pamphlets produced by ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)? Framework: The study was guided by Adult Learning Theory as postulated by Knowles. Methods: All 100 English-language pamphlets available during 1997 (written between 1988 and 1997) were evaluated using 4 standard readability formulas (FOG, SMOG, FRY and FLESCH). Additional analyses were done by category of pamphlet and year of publication/revision using the NCSS software program version 6.0.3. Readability scores were compared utilizing the student t test and ANOVA . Statistical significance was defined as p< .05. Results: Mean readability levels of ACOG's pamphlets ranged from grade 7.0 to grade 9.3, depending on the formula used. Analysis by category of pamphlet demonstrated that the lowest readability levels were in the "Especially for Teens" category. Differences by category were statistically significant using FRY and FLESCH formulas, but not significantly different based on SMOG and FOG. Analysis of readability over the 10 years revealed a trend toward lower readability levels. There was a statistically significant decrease in the level of readability over time based on 3 (SMOG, FLESCH, FOG) out of the 4 readability formulas. Conclusions: These data suggest that most of ACOG's patient education pamphlets currently available are written at a higher readability level than is recommended for the general public. While the readability of these pamphlets has improved in the 10 years since the organization published its first pamphlet (from grade 13.0 in 1988 to grade 8.7 in 1997 by the SMOG formula), the goal of 6th grade readability has not been reached. Implications: Nurses who choose educational materials for their patients need to be cognizant of the readability level of those materials if they hope the women they serve will be able to read and understand them. This study can be used by nurses who deliver patient education to provide evidence upon which to base their practice of patient education, re-emphasizing the issue of readability and working towards using education materials written at appropriate readability levels for the general public.
Repository Posting Date:
27-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
27-Oct-2011
Conference Date:
2001
Conference Name:
ENRS 13th Annual Scientific Sessions
Conference Host:
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Conference Location:
Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_US
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleAn Evaluation of the Readability of Commercially Developed Health Education Pamphlets for Womenen_GB
dc.contributor.authorFreda, Margareten_US
dc.author.detailsMargaret Freda, EdD, Associate Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA, email: FREDA@AECOM.YU.EDUen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/163741-
dc.description.abstractPurpose: Readability, defined as the ease of understanding and reading a document, has been shown to be an essential factor in the appropriate use of written health educational materials by clients, for if the material cannot be read, it cannot be understood. Previous research has shown that readability is too seldom considered when health education materials are developed, or when they are adopted for use in a clinical setting. The purpose of this study was to determine the readability level of some of the most commonly used patient educational materials in Women's Health. Because patient education is commonly carried out by giving women pamphlets produced by reputable organizations, it is essential that those written health education materials be evaluated for their readability. Research Question: What is the readability level of the patient education pamphlets produced by ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)? Framework: The study was guided by Adult Learning Theory as postulated by Knowles. Methods: All 100 English-language pamphlets available during 1997 (written between 1988 and 1997) were evaluated using 4 standard readability formulas (FOG, SMOG, FRY and FLESCH). Additional analyses were done by category of pamphlet and year of publication/revision using the NCSS software program version 6.0.3. Readability scores were compared utilizing the student t test and ANOVA . Statistical significance was defined as p< .05. Results: Mean readability levels of ACOG's pamphlets ranged from grade 7.0 to grade 9.3, depending on the formula used. Analysis by category of pamphlet demonstrated that the lowest readability levels were in the "Especially for Teens" category. Differences by category were statistically significant using FRY and FLESCH formulas, but not significantly different based on SMOG and FOG. Analysis of readability over the 10 years revealed a trend toward lower readability levels. There was a statistically significant decrease in the level of readability over time based on 3 (SMOG, FLESCH, FOG) out of the 4 readability formulas. Conclusions: These data suggest that most of ACOG's patient education pamphlets currently available are written at a higher readability level than is recommended for the general public. While the readability of these pamphlets has improved in the 10 years since the organization published its first pamphlet (from grade 13.0 in 1988 to grade 8.7 in 1997 by the SMOG formula), the goal of 6th grade readability has not been reached. Implications: Nurses who choose educational materials for their patients need to be cognizant of the readability level of those materials if they hope the women they serve will be able to read and understand them. This study can be used by nurses who deliver patient education to provide evidence upon which to base their practice of patient education, re-emphasizing the issue of readability and working towards using education materials written at appropriate readability levels for the general public.en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-27T11:13:00Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-27en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-27T11:13:00Z-
dc.conference.date2001en_US
dc.conference.nameENRS 13th Annual Scientific Sessionsen_US
dc.conference.hostEastern Nursing Research Societyen_US
dc.conference.locationAtlantic City, New Jersey, USAen_US
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.-
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