Objective: Patients increasingly use the internet to find medical information regarding their conditions and treatments. Physicians often supplement visits with written education materials. Online patient education materials from major dermatologic associations should be written at appropriate reading levels to optimize utility for patients. The purpose of this study is to assess online patient education materials from major dermatologic associations and determine if they are written at the fourth to sixth grade level recommended by the American Medical Association and National Institutes of Health. Design: This is a descriptive and correlational design. Setting: Academic institution. Participants/measurements: Patient education materials from eight major dermatology websites were downloaded and assessed using 10 readability scales. A one-way analysis of variance and Tukey's Honestly Statistically Different post hoc analysis were performed to determine the difference in readability levels between websites. Results: Two hundred and sixty patient education materials were assessed. Collectively, patient education materials were written at a mean grade level of 11.13, with 65.8 percent of articles written above a tenth grade level and no articles written at the American Medical Association/National Institutes of Health recommended grade levels. Analysis of variance demonstrated a significant difference between websites for each reading scale (p<0.001), which was confirmed with Tukey's Honestly Statistically Different post hoc analysis. Conclusion: Online patient education materials from major dermatologic association websites are written well above recommended reading levels. Associations should consider revising patient education materials to allow more effective patient comprehension.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology|
|State||Published - Sep 2016|