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Readability of hospice materials to prepare families for caregiving at the time of death

Authors

  • Karen A. Kehl,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
    2. Institute of Clinical and Translational Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Avenue, CSC K6/354, Madison, WI 53792-2455
    • School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.
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    • Assistant Professor, School of Nursing; KL2 Scholar, Institute of Clinical and Translational Research.

  • Kayla N. McCarty

    1. School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
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    • Nursing Student.


  • Karen A. Kehl was supported by grant 1UL1RR025011 from the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Abstract

Many health care materials are not written at levels that can be understood by most lay people. In this descriptive study, we examined the readability of documents used by hospices to prepare families for caregiving at the time of death. We used two common formulae to examine the documents. The mean Flesch–Kincaid grade level was 8.95 (SD 1.80). The mean Simple Measure of Gobbledygook grade level was 11.06 (SD 1.36). When we used the Colors Label Ease for Adult Readers instrument, it became evident that medical terminology was the primary reason for the high-grade levels. Most documents (78%) included medical terms that were directly (46.2%) or indirectly (25.6%) explained in the text. Modification of hospice materials could improve families' comprehension of information important for optimal end-of-life care. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:242–249, 2012

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