Readability of online information related to pediatric radiation safety from societal websites

Paul H. Yi, Meghan M. Yi, Jie C. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The Internet has become a major readily available source of health care education. Pediatric radiation safety is a complex topic with evolving safety guidelines. The purpose of this study is to assess the readability of publically available online information pertaining to pediatric radiation safety available on the websites of radiologic and pediatric societies. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Online information related to pediatric radiation safety that is available on the Society for Pediatric Radiology website and the websites RadiologyInfo (sponsored by the Radiological Society of North America and the American College of Radiology) and HealthyChildren.org (sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics) was evaluated for readability. Each article was assessed using six readability tests, which use either a grade level or a numeric scale to categorize readability. ANOVA was used to compare readability levels and intraclass correlation coefficients for analytic reliability. RESULTS. A total of 54 articles were included in the analysis. Three of the articles were written below the eighth-grade reading level. The mean readability ranged from grades 12.1 to 14.8 among the five different grade level-based readability scales used. The mean readability determined using the numeric scale was 37.3 (which identified readability as difficult), with 91% of articles categorized as very difficult, difficult, or fairly difficult and with no article categorized as easy or very easy. No difference in readability was found among the different web sources (p = 0.46-0.85). CONCLUSION. Overall, the readability of information pertaining to pediatric radiation safety that is available on radiology and pediatric medical society websites is at a level that is too difficult for the average adult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1134
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Volume211
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • children
  • educational material
  • health literacy
  • radiation safety
  • reading level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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