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Title:Medical Textbooks: Can Lay People Read and Understand Them?
Author(s):Baker, Lynda M.; Gollop, Claudia J.
Subject(s):Consumer health information
Health information
Public services (Libraries)
Abstract:The proliferation of health information has created a rich field of resources that many lay people can use to make informed health care decisions. For a large segment of the population, these resources will go unseen and unused because they are written at a level that exceeds their reading recognition and comprehension skills. The study discussed in this article assessed the readability of information on six adult and two juvenile diseases in ten medical textbooks. Students in two library and information science (LIS) schools read the same information and indicated the words they did not understand. Results showed that the medical material is written well above the average person’s reading ability. Words the students could not understand included anatomical and disease-related terms and drug names. More research needs to be done on lay people’s comprehension of medical information.
Issue Date:2004
Publisher:Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 53(2) Fall 2004: 336-347.
Genre:Article
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1731
ISSN:0024-2594
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2004.
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-07-24


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