Readability and suitability of online noise-induced hearing loss information in English
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Purpose: This study investigated the readability and suitability of online NIHL information available in English.
Method: Two search terms (“hearing loss noise” and “noise induced hearing loss”) were entered into 19 country specific Google domains. The first ten relevant web pages were included. After removing duplicates, a total of 32 web pages were assessed. Their country of origin, type of organisation (non-profit, commercial, government), and HONcode certification were recorded. Readability was assessed using the FOG, SMOG, and F-K readability formulas. Suitability was assessed using the SAM tool.
Results: Online NIHL information was found to have high readability and only ‘adequate’ suitability. None of the web pages met the recommended sixth RGL. There was a significant correlation between mean RGL and SAM scores. There was an even distribution of web pages based on region and type of organisation. There were no significant differences in readability or suitability of web pages based on their region or type of organisation.
Conclusions: The effectiveness of online NIHL information is determined by its readability and suitability. Accessible education is an important aspect of the prevention of NIHL. There is a need for the development of readable and suitable online NIHL information to educate individuals about the risks of excessive noise and the importance of protecting hearing.