Do We Have Effective Patient Education Materials for Age-Related Hearing Loss?

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  • Author(s): Squires, Erika S.; Hua Ou
  • Source:
    American Journal of Audiology. Mar2020, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p79-87. 9p. 1 Diagram, 2 Charts, 2 Graphs.
  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and compare the readability and suitability of patient education materials (PEMs) on topics of age-related hearing loss (ARHL) supplied by electronic health record (EHR) systems and organizations specializing in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Method: PEMs on ARHL were identified through a computerized search of EHR databases and CSD organization websites. Selected PEMs were assessed using three readability indices as well as the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM; Doak et al., 1996), which is a standardized tool to assess the content and design of written educational materials. Ten PEMs from EHR databases and 17 PEMs from CSD organizations were analyzed. Results: Overall, 66.7% of PEMs were written above the eighth-grade readability target. PEMs from CSD organizations were significantly more difficult to read compared to those from EHR databases. In total, 85.2% of PEMs were classified as "adequate" using the SAM analysis. No significant SAM score differences were found between PEMs from CSD organizations and those from EHR databases. Common areas of weakness among PEMs were (a) failure to include a summary of key information, (b) reading level, (c) vocabulary (too advanced for the intended audience), and (d) limited subdivision of complex topics. Conclusions: The readability and suitability of PEMs on topics of ARHL supplied by EHR providers and CSD organizations are not supportive of the health literacy skills of the average U.S. adult. It is critical to improve the readability, suitability, and comprehensibility of PEMs on ARHL to make information about hearing health care more accessible and usable. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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