TITLE

Readability of NIMH Easy-to-Read Patient Education Materials

AUTHOR(S)
Adkins, Angela D.; Elkins, Ericka N.; Singh, Nirbhay N.
PUB. DATE
September 2001
SOURCE
Journal of Child & Family Studies;Sep2001, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p279
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Editorial
ABSTRACT
Functional illiteracy not only affects the illiterate person's quality of life, it also contributes to billions of dollars in higher hospital costs in this country. Taking just the Medicare patients alone as a reference group, illiteracy may cost the healthcare system from $8 billion to $15 billion a year in increased hospitalization rates. It has been estimated that additional health care expenditures due to illiteracy and marginal literacy was about $78 billion health care dollars in 1998. Reading level is the instructional level of the written materials. It is assumed that an average person must have an 8th grade reading level to be able to meet the literacy demands of the U.S. society. The readability of the National Institute of Mental Health pamphlets clustered around the 80% acceptability level, suggesting that the materials were written and presented in a manner that enhanced comprehension. In RAIN, audience appropriateness refers to the degree of the writer's consideration of the target readers' knowledge of vocabulary and subject matter, and is assessed by counting the presence of new vocabulary, and highlighting of new vocabulary, definitions of new vocabulary, and synonyms for new vocabulary. Defining mental health terms is a critical variable in readability because it provides readers with important clues to understanding the text.
ACCESSION #
5909603

 

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