Readability assessment of online urology patient education materials

Marc Colaco, Peter F. Svider, Nitin Agarwal, Jean Anderson Eloy, Imani M. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Purpose: The National Institutes of Health, American Medical Association, and United States Department of Health and Human Services recommend that patient education materials be written at a fourth to sixth grade reading level to facilitate comprehension. We examined and compared the readability and difficulty of online patient education materials from the American Urological Association and academic urology departments in the Northeastern United States. Materials and Methods: We assessed the online patient education materials for difficulty level with 10 commonly used readability assessment tools, including the Flesch Reading Ease Score, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, Gunning Frequency of Gobbledygook, New Dale-Chall Test, Coleman-Liau index, New Fog Count, Raygor Readability Estimate, FORCAST test and Fry score. Results: Most patient education materials on the websites of these programs were written at or above the eleventh grade reading level. Conclusions: Urological online patient education materials are written above the recommended reading level. They may need to be simplified to facilitate better patient understanding of urological topics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1052
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • comprehension
  • Internet
  • patient education as topic
  • reading
  • urology


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