To assess the current readability levels for online Internet-Based Patient Education Materials (IPEMs) related to treatment options for benign prostatic hyperplasia, including transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) and prostate artery embolization (PAE).
Using the Google search engine we identified 40 IPEMs pertaining to TURP and PAE. Readability analysis was performed using the following algorithms: Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES), Flesch-Kincaid Grade Formula (FKGL), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), and the Gunning Frequency of Gobbledygook (GFOG). Scores are categorized by difficulty (FRES) and grade level (FKGL, SMOG, GFOG).
Only 7.5% (3/40) websites met the United States Department of Health and Human Services recommendation of a sixth grade or lower comprehension levels, with FRES scores in the "fairly easy" category. Comparison of TURP to PAE groups showed that TURP readability scores with respect FRES and FKGL were significantly easier to read. According to SMOG and GFOG analysis there was no difference between the two groups by grade level, which demonstrated an average at the 12th grade reading level. Subgroup analysis of IPEM type, categorized as Health Networks (12), University Hospitals (14), Clinical Practices (6), and Miscellaneous (8), found no difference in reading level across all scoring systems.
Currently available IPEMs pertaining to benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment options are written at a level that is too difficult for the average American to understand. Physicians and health networks should take United States Department of Health and Human Services recommendations into consideration when designing IPEMs to optimize accessibility of health information to improve patient compliance and outcomes.
Academic radiology. 2020 Jan 09 [Epub ahead of print]
Antony Sare, Aesha Patel, Pankti Kothari, Abhishek Kumar, Nitin Patel, Pratik A Shukla
Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Ave., Newark, NJ 07103., Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey., Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Ave., Newark, NJ 07103. Electronic address: .