Improving the readability and suitability of a webpage on age-related hearing loss for better comprehension and self-efficacy. (2021)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Aim: The study aimed to firstly revise a webpage on age-related hearing loss to achieve better readability and suitability. Secondly, the study aimed to assess whether significant differences in comprehension and self-efficacy resulted from the revision. Thirdly, the study aimed to investigate if there were any significant correlations between (a) comprehension and self-efficacy, (b) self-efficacy and age, and (c) comprehension and age.
Method: A webpage on age-related hearing loss was chosen for revision as it typified most consumer webpages on hearing health. The webpage was revised using best practice guidelines. Readability formulae (F-K, FRE, FOG and SMOG) were used to evaluate the reading grade levels of the unrevised and revised webpages. The Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) tool was used to evaluate the suitability of the unrevised and revised webpages. Both versions of the webpages and study questionnaire were uploaded onto Qualtrics survey software. Participants were randomly allocated to read either the unrevised or revised version and requested to answer multiple-choice questions assessing their reading comprehension and self-efficacy. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS.
Results: The mean reading grade level of the unrevised webpage was 12.2 and this was improved to 5.6 after revision. The suitability of the unrevised webpage was improved from ‘not suitable’ to ‘superior’ following revision. The Mann-Whitney U Test showed that comprehension scores were significantly higher for the revised group than for the unrevised group (U = 91.5, p = .007). Similarly, self-efficacy scores were significantly higher for the revised group than for the unrevised group (U = 65.5, p < 001). Spearman’s correlation did not show a significant correlation between comprehension and self-efficacy (rs = .095, p =.570). Likewise, there was no significant correlation between self-efficacy and age (rs =−.105, p = .531). There was also no significant correlation between comprehension and age (rs = -.309, p = .059). Conclusion: There is a need for information on the internet pertaining to hearing health to be revised for greater readability and suitability. The findings from this study are consistent with previous studies which show that comprehension and self-efficacy improve significantly when reading grade levels are within recommended levels, and suitability is ‘superior’. Self-efficacy in older adults can be increased through health information which is easy to read, education programmes on healthy ageing, and support from family, friends, and health professionals. Increased self-efficacy for managing hearing loss leads to a greater likelihood that individuals will take appropriate action and thus achieve good health outcomes.
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