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Gippsland Health Literacy Short Course Gippsland Primary Care Partnerships . Module 3: Tools for Readability. Universal Communication Principles. Everyone benefits from clear information . Many patients are at risk of misunderstanding, but it is hard to identify them.

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Gippsland Health Literacy Short Course Gippsland Primary Care Partnerships

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Gippsland health literacy short course gippsland primary care partnerships

Gippsland Health Literacy Short Course Gippsland Primary Care Partnerships

Module 3: Tools for Readability


Gippsland health literacy short course gippsland primary care partnerships

Universal Communication Principles

  • Everyone benefits from clear information.

  • Many patients are at risk of misunderstanding, but it is hard to identify them.

  • Testing general reading levels does not ensure patient understanding in the clinical setting.

Adapted from: Reducing the Risk by Designing a Safer, Shame-Free Health

Care Environment. AMA, 2007


A ssessing printed materials smog

Assessingprinted materials: SMOG

SMOG – Simple Measure of Gobbledygook assesses reading grade level, estimates the years of education a person needs to understand a piece of writing, score based on sentence length and vocabulary, predicts comprehension

Activity: Using the SMOG resource, apply the SMOG to a section of information prepared by your organisation


Flesch kincaid reading level

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level

  • An index that gives the years of education required to comprehend a document.

  • The Flesch Grade Level readability formula takes into consideration the total number of words, the number of syllables, and the total number of sentences in a piece of writing.

  • Flesch Reading Ease: Indicates on a scale of 0 to 100 the difficulty of comprehending a document. It is calculated using sentence length and the number of syllables in a word.

  • http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/test-your-document-s-readability-HP010148506.aspx


Online readability tests

Online readability tests

Document Readability Calculator

  • http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp

    Text Readability Scores

  • http://www.addedbytes.com/lab/readability-score/

  • The Readability Test Tool

  • http://www.read-able.com/


Moving beyond readability

Moving beyond readability

SAM – Suitability Assessment of Materials

Systematically measures the suitability of health information materials using 6 factors affecting readability. Print material is ranked against 21 criteria using a 3 point likert scale.

The 6 factors are:

  • Content

  • Literacy demand

  • Graphics

  • Layout and typography

  • Learning stimulation and motivation

  • Cultural appropriateness

    Using Resource – SAM – score a paragraph from one of your resources


Prism readability toolkit

PRISM READABILITY TOOLKIT

 The PRISM recommendations for editing are four-fold:

  • Replacing jargon and other complex terms with familiar vocabulary

  • Creating single-topic paragraphs and concise sentences

  • Using reader-friendly formatting

  • Checking the reading level—achieving a target of 8th grade or below in most cases.

  • Ridpath JR, Greene SM, Wiese CJ; PRISM Readability Toolkit. 3rd ed. Seattle: Group Health Research Institute; 2007.


Prism cont d

PRISM cont’d

PRISM also provide a checklist called a Quick Reference Guide for Improving Readability. This checklist identifies 10 items to check materials against:

  • Reading level

  • Use of;

    • Common everyday words

    • Active voice

    • First person

    • Short and to the point sentences

    • Paragraphs with one main idea

    • Clear and descriptive headings

    • Context, style and amount of information

    • Clear organisation and format

    • Adequate white space and margins


Activity

activity

  • In small groups, review the Resource:Helen Osborne, Readability

  • Report back on what you learnt from her advice


Summary

Summary

  • Crucial that health communication is easy to understand

  • Plain language does not mean ‘dumbing down’

  • Most people prefer easy to read and understand information

  • Remember your communication purpose


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