Readability assessment of online thyroid surgery patient education materials

Chirag R. Patel, Deepa V. Cherla, Saurin Sanghvi, Soly Baredes, Jean Anderson Eloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Background: Published guidelines recommend written health information be written at or below the sixth-grade level. We evaluate the readability of online materials related to thyroid surgery. Methods: Thyroid surgery materials were evaluated using Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES), Flesch Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL), Gunning Frequency of Gobbledygook (GFOG), and Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG). Results: Thirty-one documents were evaluated. FRES scores ranged from 29.3 to 67.8 (possible range = 0 to 100), and averaged 50.5. FKGL ranged from 6.9 to 14.9 (possible range = 3 to 12), and averaged 10.4. SMOG scores ranged from 11.8 to 14.5 (possible range = 3 to 19), and averaged 13.0. GFOG scores ranged from 10.6 to 18.0 (possible range = 3 to 19), and averaged 13.5. Conclusions: Readability scores for online thyroid surgery materials are higher (i.e., more difficult) than the recommended levels. However, readability is only one aspect of comprehension. Written information should be designed with that fact in mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1425
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • Flesch Reading Ease
  • Thyroid surgery
  • patient education material
  • readability
  • thyroidectomy

Cite this