Readability of patient-reported outcome measures in adult audiologic rehabilitation.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the readability of several published Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) designed for use within the field of adult audiologic rehabilitation. The readability results were then compared to the readability levels recommended for health information by health literacy experts.
Method: Ten published audiologic PROMs were identified for use within this study. Reading grade levels were calculated using four readability formulas: Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (F-K), Gunning Fog Index (FOG), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), and FORCAST, as computed by the readability calculations software package Oleander Readability Studio 2012.1. Descriptive statistics were computed across the different PROM sections: instructions, items, response scale, and the overall contents of the measure directed towards the respondent.
Results: The results of this study demonstrate that the majority of the PROM sections exceed the 4th to 6th grade reading level recommended by health literacy experts, regardless of the formula applied. All PROM sections exceeded the 4th to 6th grade reading level when calculated according to the FORCAST formula, the most appropriate readability formula for use with a non-narrative text format, such as the format of the PROMs encountered within this study.
Conclusion: When developing or re-evaluating PROMs designed for use within the field of 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-centred care values are to be adhered to within the field of adult audiologic rehabilitation.