Nuclear Medicine and Resources for Patients: How Complex Are Online Patient Educational Materials?
The Internet is a major source of health care information for patients. The American Medical Association and the National Institutes of Health recommend that consumer health care websites be written at a third- to seventh-grade level. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the level of readability of patient education websites pertaining to nuclear medicine.
Methods: We searched for 10 terms on Google, collected the top 10 links for each term, and analyzed their level of readability using 10 well-established readability scales.
Results: Collectively, the 99 articles were written at a grade level of 11.8 (SD, 3.4). Only 5 of the 99 articles were written at the third- to seventh-grade level recommended by the National Institutes of Health and the American Medical Association.
Conclusion: There is a clear discordance between the readability level of nuclear medicine-related imaging terms and the National Institutes of Health and American Medical Association guidelines. This discordance may have a negative impact on patient understanding, contributing to poor health outcomes.