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Haig Pakhchanian, Rahul Raiker, Craig Geist; Readability Analysis of Dacryocystorhinostomy Online Patient Information. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):2941.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
As the internet has become more accessible, many patients rely on it to educate themselves on their medical conditions. However, patient educational material (PEM) may not be easily interpretable as health literacy is known to be poor for the average patient. Our goal was to evaluate the readability of online patient material specifically for Dacryocystorhinostomy.
Using the Google search engine, the terms “Dacryocystorhinostomy” or “DCR Surgery” were entered and the top 10 English results were analyzed. Results that were repeated in both searches, results meant for medical professionals, and extraneous text not pertinent to the medical condition were excluded. The body of text from each website was then analyzed using ten validated tests for readability assessment: Flesch Reading Ease Test (FRE), Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), Coleman-Liau Index (CLI), Gunning Fog Index (GFI), New Dale-Chall Readability (NDC), FORCAST, Fry Graph Readability (FG), Raygor Readability Estimate (RRE), and New Fog Count (NFC).
The mean (SD) readability scores were 54 (15), 10 (2.8), 12.3 (1.8), 10.3 (2.1), 12.4 (2.5), 10.7 (3.5), 10.4 (1.0), 11 (3.5), 9 (3.3), and 8.9 (2.4) for FRE, FKGL, SMOG, CLI, GFI, NDC, FORCAST, FG, RRE, and NFC, respectively. All ten of the mean readability scores were well above the fourth to sixth grade reading level as recommended by the National Institute of Health and the American Medical Association for PEM.
These findings show that the average patient would have difficulty comprehending this medical information, thereby hindering their ability to make informed decisions on their healthcare. More attention is needed in creating appropriate literacy level PEM for dacryocystorhinostomy.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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