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Patient Education Materials From the Layperson's Perspective: The Importance of Readability

Journal for Nurses in Staff Development (JNSD): March-April 2011 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p E11-E12
doi: 10.1097/NND.0b013e3182158cc9
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GENERAL PURPOSE STATEMENT: To provide registered professional nurses with an understanding of the process of creating readable patient education materials.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After reading this article and taking this test, you should be able to:

  1. Identify the risks of limited health literacy and issues related to patient education materials.
  2. Describe the process of examining existing patient education materials and creating new materials at Danbury Hospital.

1. According to the Institute of Medicine (2004), people with limited health literacy

a. do not receive regular physical examinations.

b. usually do not have health insurance.

c. have a higher rate of hospitalizations.

d. pay more for their health insurance.

2. As noted in this article, The Joint Commission (2007) reported that the average lay person

a. gets most of his/her health information from the Internet.

b. cannot understand typical healthcare information.

c. does not receive health education from his/her primary care practitioner.

d. gets most of his/her health information from family and friends.

3. The Joint Commission reports that a key component of disease self-management is

a. understanding the importance of prevention.

b. access to low-cost health care.

c. a comprehensive health insurance plan.

d. understanding the risks and benefits of treatments.

4. Wolf and Bailey (2009) recommend that patient education materials focus on

a. treatment options.

b. medication effects.

c. symptom management.

d. prevention of complications.

5. A problem noted with existing patient education materials at Danbury Hospital was

a. poor accessibility for staff.

b. no explanatory illustrations used.

c. a lack of availability in multiple languages.

d. a limited selection of topics.

6. Common mistakes in patient education materials include all of the following except

a. using undefined jargon.

b. not writing to the target audience.

c. writing at too high a grade level.

d. writing with concise language.

7. Many patient education materials are written at a minimum reading level of

a. 8th grade.

b. 9th grade.

c. 10th grade.

d. 11th grade.

8. The median grade reading level of the U.S. population is estimated at

a. 8th grade.

b. 9th grade.

c. 10th grade.

d. 11th grade.

9. The patient education committee at Danbury Hospital is chaired by a

a. pharmacist.

b. staff educator.

c. staff nurse.

d. nursing director.

10. All of the following are members of the patient education committee except a

a. librarian.

b. risk manager.

c. dietician.

d. pharmacist.

11. Materials created by the committee pertain to topics related to

a. the hospital's top diagnostic groups.

b. the most common medical conditions, nationally.

c. The Joint Commission's treatment priorities.

d. the top 10 causes of death and disability in the United States.

12. As listed in this article, an evidence-based source used to create the materials is the

a. National Library of Medicine.

b. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

c. National Institute of Mental Health.

d. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

13. The new patient education materials were available

a. in paper form on each nursing unit.

b. in a file cabinet in each manager's office.

c. on a flash drive attached to each computer.

d. electronically on the hospital intranet.

14. All educational materials were prepared in a consistent

a. PDF format.

b. rich text format.

c. Microsoft Word document format.

d. MS-DOS text with layout format.

15. According to the author, a chief benefit of creating patient education materials is

a. lack of cost.

b. decreased liability.

c. customizability.

d. lack of copyright violations.

16. An essential quality of educational materials, noted in the article, is

a. brevity.

b. overall appearance.

c. illustrations.

d. cultural sensitivity.

17. The committee tested the readability of the materials by

a. putting them online for comments.

b. surveying the committee members.

c. using a panel of lay people.

d. employing readability formulas.

18. One of the commonly distributed handouts was on the topic of

a. pain management.

b. medication allergies.

c. diabetic diets.

d. colonoscopy.

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