Readability of Spanish-Language Patient Education Materials From

Sherwin A. Novin, Eric H. Huh, Matthew G. Bange, Ferdinand K. Hui, Paul H. Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Readability of patient education materials has been linked to health outcomes, and reports on patient education materials in radiology have demonstrated readability levels higher than recommended. Few studies in radiology, however, have assessed patient comprehension of Spanish-language health care educational materials. The purpose of this study was thus to assess the readability of patient education materials written in Spanish from Methods: All patient education materials written in Spanish available in July 2017 from the patient education library were compiled into a database over a 1-day period. After modification and editing to minimize artificial changes in readability levels, four readability scales were used to assess the texts: the Gilliam-Peña-Mountain scale, the Läsbarhets formula, the rate index formula, and the SOL formula. Readability was compared among scales using analysis of variance, and inter- and intrarater variability was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients. Results: In total, 134 patient education articles written in Spanish were included from the patient education library. The mean readability grade level was the 10th grade reading level or higher for all scales (average, 12th grade); only one article was written below the 8th grade level. There was no significant difference in readability level on the basis of readability scale used. Conclusions: Spanish-language patient educational materials provided at the website are written at levels too high for the average patient. Future efforts should be made to improve the readability of these patient education materials for English and Spanish speakers alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1108-1113
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • RSNA
  • RadiologyInfo
  • Spanish
  • patient education
  • radiology
  • readability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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