Presentation Authors: Chris Du*, Stony Brook, NY, Wai Lee, Alvaro Lucioni, Kathleen Kobashi, Una Lee, Seattle, WA
Introduction: Providing health education through in the form of patient education materials (PEMs) is a time-tested method of educating patients. In order for PEMs to be effective, patients must be able to comprehend them. The Joint Commission (JC) recommends PEMs be written at or below a 5th grade level, and the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends PEMS not exceed the 7th grade level. Prior studies have shown that PEMs are routinely written at or above the 8th grade level. The objective of this study was to assess the readability of PEMs available online from urologic and gynecologic organizations for 3 topic areas: pelvic organ prolapse (POP), overactive bladder (OAB), and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
Methods: In September 2018 we examined available online, downloadable English PEMs in for POP, OAB and SUI from national and international organizations, including American Urological Association (AUA), American Urogynecological Society (AUGS), Society for Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU), International Continence Society (ICS), International Urogynecological Society (IUGA), and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and National Association for Fecal Continence (NAFC). The texts were evaluated using 4 validated indices Flesch-Kincaid Index (FKI), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), Gunning Fog Index (GFI), and Coleman-Lindau Index (CLI). Mean grade level was calculated for each of the 3 topic areas by averaging the readability indices on the topic.
Results: 7 POP, 8 OAB, and 7 SUI PEMs were evaluated (Table 1). Mean readability scores for POP PEMs was grade level 12.3 (range 9.1-16.66; SD 1.89). The mean readability scores for OAB PEMs was grade level 9.4 (range 5.1-17.9; SD 3.0). Mean readability score for SUI PEMs was grade level 11.5 (range 7.5-16.9; SD 2.5).
Conclusions: Appropriate readability enhances patients&[prime] ability to understand health information. However, the PEMs for POP, OAB, and SUI this study evaluated are written at or above the level of a high school student and above the JC and AMA recommended target readability. Developing accessible easy-to-read PEMs is important to promote patient-centered care for POP, OAB, and SUI.