Dr. Rosenberg on Complexity of Online Patient Information From NCI Cancer Center Websites

Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD
Published: Monday, Jul 06, 2015



Stephen Rosenberg, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, discusses a study examining if online patient information provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center websites is too complex for general readership.

Researchers examined various NCI-designated websites to collect patient-specific information and enter it through readability software. Ten common readability tests were administered and it was determined that the majority of information was written at a high school senior/college freshman level. However, the United States Department of Human Health and Services requests that such information should be written at a sixth-grade level for the general population, Rosenberg says.

These findings demonstrate that online information provided to patients was not written at a level that patients could understand. There is a wide disconnect between what NCI-designated cancer centers are doing to provide information to patients versus what they should be doing, Rosenberg adds.
 


Stephen Rosenberg, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, discusses a study examining if online patient information provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center websites is too complex for general readership.

Researchers examined various NCI-designated websites to collect patient-specific information and enter it through readability software. Ten common readability tests were administered and it was determined that the majority of information was written at a high school senior/college freshman level. However, the United States Department of Human Health and Services requests that such information should be written at a sixth-grade level for the general population, Rosenberg says.

These findings demonstrate that online information provided to patients was not written at a level that patients could understand. There is a wide disconnect between what NCI-designated cancer centers are doing to provide information to patients versus what they should be doing, Rosenberg adds.
 



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