Readability of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Adult Audiologic Rehabilitation Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the readability of published patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) designed for use in adult audiologic rehabilitation. The readability results were compared with the readability levels recommended for health information by health literacy experts. Method Reading grade levels were calculated using ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 08, 2018
Readability of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Adult Audiologic Rehabilitation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alana Douglas
    University of Canterbury, Department of Communication Disorders, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Rebecca J. Kelly-Campbell
    University of Canterbury, Department of Communication Disorders, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Rebecca J. Kelly-Campbell: Rebecca.kelly@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Editor: Monita Chatterjee
    Editor: Monita Chatterjee×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 08, 2018
Readability of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Adult Audiologic Rehabilitation
American Journal of Audiology, June 2018, Vol. 27, 208-218. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0095
History: Received September 25, 2017 , Revised October 23, 2017 , Accepted December 10, 2017
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2018, Vol. 27, 208-218. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0095
History: Received September 25, 2017; Revised October 23, 2017; Accepted December 10, 2017

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the readability of published patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) designed for use in adult audiologic rehabilitation. The readability results were compared with the readability levels recommended for health information by health literacy experts.

Method Reading grade levels were calculated using the Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level Formula (Flesch, 1948), Gunning Fog Index (Gunning, 1952), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (McLaughlin, 1969), and FORCAST (Caylor, Sticht, Fox, & Ford, 1973) readability formulas for 10 published PROMs. Descriptive statistics were computed across the different PROM sections: instructions, items, response scale, and overall contents of the measure directed toward respondents.

Results The majority of the PROM sections exceeded the 6th grade reading level recommended by health literacy experts, regardless of the formula applied. All PROM sections exceeded the 6th grade reading level when calculated according to the FORCAST formula, the most appropriate readability formula for use with a nonnarrative text format, such as PROMs.

Conclusions When developing or reevaluating PROMs designed for use in adult audiologic rehabilitation, researchers should consider ways to improve the readability of their measure, as poor readability may affect the validity of the empirical data collected using the PROM. Additionally, the adequate readability of audiologic PROMs is required if patient/family-centered care values are to be adhered to within the field of adult audiologic rehabilitation.

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