Readability of Healthcare Literature for Gastroparesis and Evaluation of Medical Terminology in Reading Difficulty

Andrew Meillier, Shyam Patel


Background: Gastroparesis is a chronic condition that can be further enhanced with patient understanding. Patients education resources on the Internet have become increasingly important in improving healthcare literacy. We evaluated the readability of online resources for gastroparesis and the influence by medical terminology.

Methods: Google searches were performed for gastroparesis,gastroparesis patient education material and gastroparesis patient information. Following, all medical terminology was determined if included on Tabers Medical Dictionary 22nd Edition. The medical terminology was replaced independently with help and helping. Web resources were analyzed with the Readability Studio Professional Edition (Oleander Solutions, Vandalia, OH) using 10 different readability scales.

Results: The average of the 26 patient education resources was 12.7 1.8 grade levels. The editedhelp group had 6.6 1.0 andhelping group had 10.4 2.1 reading levels. In comparing the three groups, thehelp andhelping groups had significantly lower readability levels (P < 0.001). Thehelp group was significantly less than thehelping group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The web resources for gastroparesis were higher than the recommended reading level by the American Medical Association. Medical terminology was shown to be the cause for this elevated readability level with all, but four resources within the recommended grade levels following word replacement.

Gastroenterol Res. 2017;10(1):1-5


Health literacy; Gastroparesis; Patient education as topic

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