Assessing the reading level of online sarcoma patient education materials.

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Cancer patients rely on patient education materials (PEMs) to gather information regarding their disease. Patients who are better informed about their illness have better health outcomes. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that PEMs be written at a sixth- to seventh-grade reading level. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the readability of online PEMs of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas and related conditions. We identified relevant online PEMs from the following websites: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, academic training centers, sarcoma specialists, Google search hits, Bonetumor.org, Sarcoma Alliance, Sarcoma Foundation of America, and Medscape. We used 10 different readability instruments to evaluate the reading level of each website's PEMs. In assessing 72 websites and 774 articles, we found that none of the websites had a mean readability score at or below 7 (seventh grade). Collectively, all websites had a mean readability score of 11.4, and the range of scores was grade level 8.9 to 15.5. None of the PEMs in this study of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas and related conditions met the NIH recommendation for PEM reading levels. Concerted efforts to improve the reading level of orthopedic oncologic PEMs are necessary.
  • Published In

    Keywords

  • Bone Neoplasms, Comprehension, Humans, Internet, Orthopedics, Patient Education as Topic, Sarcoma, Soft Tissue Neoplasms, United States
  • Authorlist

  • Patel SS; Sheppard ED; Siegel HJ; Ponce BA
  • Start Page

  • E1
  • End Page

  • E10
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 1