Purpose: To determine the readability of Internet-based patient education materials (IPEMs) created by United States hospitals and universities and clinical practices and miscellaneous health care-associated Web sites regarding uterine artery embolization (UAE) as a marker for IPEMs in general. Methods and Methods: Two hundred unique Web sites were evaluated for patient-related articles on UAE. Web sites produced by US hospitals and universities and clinical practices, as well as miscellaneous health care-associated Web sites meeting the Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct criteria were included in the database. By using mathematical regression algorithms based on word and sentence length to quantitatively analyze reading materials for language intricacy, readability of 40 UAE-related IPEMs was assessed with four indices: Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL), Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), and Gunning Frequency of Gobbledygook (GFOG). Scores were evaluated against national recommendations, and intergroup analysis was performed. Results: None of the IPEMs were written at or below the sixth-grade reading level, based on FKGL. The mean readability scores were as follows: FRES, 43.98; FKGL, 10.76; SMOG, 13.63; and GFOG, 14.55. These scores indicate that the readability of UAE IPEMs is written at an advanced level, significantly above the recommended 6th grade reading level (P<.05) determined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Conclusions: IPEMs related to UAE generated by hospitals, clinical practices, and miscellaneous health care-associated Web sites are written above the recommended sixth grade level. IPEMs for other disease entities may also reflect similar results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine