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Sherveen S. Salek, Gary S. Rubin, Pradeep Y. Ramulu; Sustained Silent Reading Speed and Out-loud Reading Speed in Glaucoma Patients and Persons with Normal Sight. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5556.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Current tests of reading speed focus on reading out loud over short durations. However, much reading is done silently over prolonged durations. We created a standardized test of sustained reading, and compare sustained reading speeds to reading out loud.
Reading was tested in 2 groups of subjects age 50 or greater: one group with bilateral perimetric glaucoma, and a second group without significant visual field or visual acuity loss. Sustained reading speed was evaluated using a 7,300 word standardized passage consisting of 38 pages, each with 100 or 200 words of text between grade level 5.0 and 6.9. Validated multiple-choice questions were written for every 2 pages, and administered at the conclusion of the test. Subjects also had their out-loud reading speed tested using an IREST (International Reading Speed Texts) passage and the MNread chart. MNRead reading speed was derived from the mean reading speed for all sentences at or above the critical print size.
Testing was completed in 74 subjects, including 38 controls and 36 with glaucoma. For the full group, sustained reading (SR) speeds showed similar correlations with both IREST reading speed (r=0.69) and MNRead speed (r=0.63). Slightly better correlation was noted between MNRead and IREST reading speeds (r=0.75). Compared to control subjects, glaucoma subjects showed slightly higher correlation of SR speed with IREST reading speed (r=0.69 vs. 0.66) and significantly greater correlation with MNRead speeds (r=0.73 vs. 0.48). For most subjects, SR was faster than both IREST reading (median SR/IREST speed = 1.23; IQR: 1.05-1.48) and MNread, testing (median SR/MNRead speed = 1.07; IQR: 0.92-1.35,), while IREST reading was slightly slower than MNRead testing (median IREST/MNRead speed=0.89; IQR: 0.82-0.93). Comprehension of the SR passage was high (median % of correct question responses=87%; IQR: 76-94%). Three subjects answered less than 50% of questions correctly, though only 1/3 showed more than a 20% difference in SR and IREST speeds.
Sustained silent reading speed is highly correlated with out loud reading speed in normally-sighted persons and patients with glaucoma. The described test can be used to assess reading in individuals who report difficulty with sustained reading tasks.
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