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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

Gippsland Health Literacy Short Course Gippsland Primary Care Partnerships

Module 3: Tools for Readability

slide2

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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