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.
 
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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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