Online patient resources about lung cancer, radiology not written at recommended reading level

“Lung cancer screening was the only search term with a mean reading level under that of a high school education; however, it was still well above the NIH- and AMA-recommended reading level,” wrote lead creator David Richard Hansberry, MD, division of radiology at Thomas Jefferson College Hospitals in Philadelphia, and colleagues.

Hansberry et al. famous that this discrepancy may probably be harming the well being literacy of sufferers all through the USA. “Creating patient education materials that are of the appropriate reading level is essential because patients in lower educational levels are those who would benefit the most,” the authors wrote. “Patients at the lowest educational levels have significantly higher risks of lung cancer, higher mortality rates from lung cancer, and lower rates of smoking cessation than those with higher educational attainment. Patient education materials that are difficult to understand may not be as effective for these patients and therefore may limit the benefits that these patients can derive.”

The authors additionally detailed proof that exhibits sufferers are fascinated about studying about these subjects. Instructional radiology web sites obtain a couple of million guests every month, as an illustration, displaying that there’s actually a want from sufferers to be taught extra about their very own healthcare.

So what may be completed? In response to Hansberry and colleagues, it’s not about offering worse info or much less element—it’s about making the knowledge simpler to understand.

“It is reasonable to suspect that lowering the reading level of education materials may reduce the quality of the information being conveyed to the reader,” the authors wrote. “However, using simpler sentence structure, less complex words, and words with fewer characters can convey the same information in a more easily understood text. For example, breaking complex and compound sentences into easier-to-understand simple sentences will reduce the reading level while maintaining the integrity of the content.”

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