Tools for Measuring Patient Literacy Level In Nursing Education

Nurses Educator 2

Patient Literacy Measurement Methods In Nursing Education

Tools for Measuring Patient Literacy Level In Nursing Education

Measurement Tools to Test Literacy Levels,Benefits of Patient Literacy in Nursing Education,Methods of Measurement of Literacy In Patient,Reliability of Measuring Methods In Nursing Education.

Measurement Tools to Test Literacy Levels

    Healthcare professionals continually struggle with the task of effectively communicating highly complex and technical information to their consumers, who often lack sufficient background knowledge to understand the sophisticated content of instruction relevant to their care. Whether they author or merely distribute printed educational information, nurses and other healthcare practitioners are responsible for ensuring the appropriate literacy level of the materials given to their clients.

Benefits of Patient Literacy in Nursing Education

    If the literacy level of educational materials matches the readers' literacy skills, consumers may be better able to understand and comply with healthcare regimens, thereby reducing the costs of care and improving their quality of life (Ad Hoc Committee on Health Literacy, 1999; Weiss , 2014). Because nurses rely heavily on PEMS to convey necessary information to their clients, the usefulness and efficacy of these materials must be determined in relation to the readers' abilities to decipher information. 

Methods of Measurement of Literacy In Patient

    To objectively evaluate the difficulty of written materials, two basic measurement methods exist: formulas and tests. Various formulas measure readability of PEMs and are based on ascertaining the average length of sentences and words (vocabulary difficulty) to determine the grade level at which they are written. Standardized tests, which measure actual comprehension and reading skills, involve readers' responses to instructional materials or the ability to decode and pronounce words to determine their grade level (see Appendix A).

Reliability of Measuring Methods In Nursing Education

    Both methods, although not ideal, are considered to have a sufficient relationship to literacy ability to justify their use. The most widely used readability formulas and standardized tests for comprehension and reading skill rate high on reliability and predictive validity. They also do not require elaborate training to use, although they do vary in the amount of time required to administer them. 

    In addition, the advent of computerized readability analysis (nearly all word-processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, will produce readability statistics as a standard feature) has made evaluating the reading grade level of written materials much easier and quicker. These methods are most useful to nursing educators for designing and evaluating PEMs.

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