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Susanne Trauzettel-Klosinski, Elke Altpeter, Tobias Marx, Nhung Nguyen; Measuring reading speed: a comparison of reading paragraphs and single sentences. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2747.
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For measuring reading speed, the use of standardized texts is crucial 2. Single sentences (MN-Read, Radner) are well suited for assessing critical print size. We developed paragraphs (International Reading Speed Texts IReST 2) for measuring reading speed, which showed a high agreement within and between languages (17 languages, linguistically adapted). We hypothesize that paragraphs are preferable to single sentences for more precise speed measurement by stopwatch.
Reading speeds during reading standardized paragraphs of text ( IReST, German version, texts 3,6,10; 132 words, SD 3.2) were compared with standardized single sentences (Radner, German version, texts 1-3; 14 words each). 30 normally sighted elderly native German speakers (mean age = 64 years, SD 7 years) read the texts aloud in random order. Reading time was measured by stop watch and reading speed was calculated in correctly read words/minute (wpm).
Mean reading speed did not show a relevant difference between IReST (167 wpm, SD 30.3) and Radner (170 wpm, SD 30.2), (highest mean difference: 7 WPM), when reading speeds of the total cohort were compared. However, individual variation during reading 3 texts of each type showed markedly higher standard deviations for the Radner texts (SD 18.9) than for the IReST texts (SD 5.2). A clinically relevant difference was defined as > 10 wpm 2.
For group comparisons, the kind and length of text (IReST or Radner) did not have a relevant influence on reading speed. For intra-individual measurement of reading speed, IReST texts showed lower variation between the texts. For higher accuracy we recommend to use them for repeated measurements, especially for monitoring the course of a reading disorder and for assessing effects of interventions. References 1 Radner W et al (2002) Graefe`s Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 240: 461-46 2 Trauzettel-Klosinski S, Dietz K and the IReST Study Group (2012) IOVS 53:5452-5461
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