April 2009
Volume 50, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2009
Literacy Levels of Patient Education Materials
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. E. Kim
    Ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • J. Caldwell
    Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • L. Simmons
    Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  J.E. Kim, None; J. Caldwell, None; L. Simmons, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Unrestricted Grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, inc.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2009, Vol.50, 5075. doi:
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      J. E. Kim, J. Caldwell, L. Simmons; Literacy Levels of Patient Education Materials. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):5075.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To assess a need for readable patient education materials by evaluating literacy levels of education materials that are currently commonly used at an ophthalmology department and at an internal medicine department that manages patients with diabetes.

Methods: : We evaluated 9 patient education materials using readability analysis methods similar to that of Ebrahimzadeh and colleagues (Surv Ophthalmol 1999;42:152) using various literacy measurements.

Results: : The education materials included 4 developed by the hospital for consents and discharge instructions, 2 by the National Institutes of Health on diabetic retinopathy and "Talking with Your Doctor", 1 by the National Eye Institute on diabetic retinopathy, 1 by American Academy of Ophthalmology on diabetic retinopathy, and 1 by American College of Physicians on managing diabetes. We found that none of the 9 patient education materials examined reached a level of readability lower than 5th grade level and some were as high as college level. The informed consent forms for surgical procedures tended to require the highest grade level of literacy.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower • reading • diabetes 

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