Readability of Online Patient Material Provided by Reflux Centers in the United States
Ekkel E, and Seeras K. Readability of Online Patient Material Provided by Reflux Centers in the United States. Am Surg 2023; 89(6):2782-2784.
The American surgeon
The American Medical Association (AMA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest patient education materials should not exceed the sixth-grade reading level. Several studies have shown that patient information has been written well above this reading level across multiple specialties. A search was conducted utilizing the Google Chrome browser and the Google search engine. The key words "Reflux Center" and "GERD Center" were used to identify links to programs within the United States. The web site's general description of reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease was copied and pasted into the Readable.io service, and the readability tests were conducted via the program. Of 52 web sites, none had fulfilled the recommended reading level. Our results reveal that readability related to reflux pathology on center web sites is too difficult for the average patient. In order to improve patient education regarding reflux pathology and treatment, reading materials should be improved.
Medical Subject Headings
United States; Humans; Health Literacy; Comprehension; National Institutes of Health (U.S.); American Medical Association; Internet