Presentation Authors: Ceri Honey-Jones, Brian Birch*, Southampton, United Kingdom
Introduction: Literacy is at the core of participants in research being able to make fully informed choices. This is partially achieved by providing participants with patient information sheets (PISs). There is a view that PISs are generally written at a level above the average literacy level of participants, the recommended reading level being 11-12 years old (equivalent to Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and the Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) scores of 6th grade and 80-89 respectively). _x000D_
We aim to analyse the readability and comprehension levels of Patient Information Sheets used in Research Ethics Committee applications, using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKFL) and Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) scores.
Methods: To gain data for this research study, the Health Research Authority (HRA) database was used to gain contact details for researchers who had conducted research. _x000D_
Researchers were then contacted to request the patient information sheet from their study; the purpose of the study was also explained to the researchers allowing for transparency throughout. _x000D_
128 patient information sheets were received; these were then analysed, with the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and the Flesch Reading Ease scores recorded for later analysis.
Results: Having analysed 128 PISs: _x000D_
FKGL ScoreThe mean FKGL score was 9.87 (Â±SD 1.69); this is suited to the reading age of a High School Sophomore (recommended 6th grade)_x000D_
FRE ScoreThe mean FRE score was 56.2 (Â±SD 8.67). The overall FRE score is equivalent to a reading age of 16-17-years-old (High School Senior) being rated fairly difficult (recommended easy 11 year old)_x000D_
(see Tables 1 and 2 green desirable; purple study results)
Conclusions: This study has identified that patient information sheets are generally too complex for all patients to easily comprehend. _x000D_
Researchers would benefit from clear national guidance from ethics committees on writing patient information at a more appropriate level; participants would benefit from being provided with an easy to read research summary sheet.