NPR: Want Help Explaining A Medical Procedure? Ask A 9-Year-Old
NPR reports on a study in which researchers asked elementary school students to rewrite informational leaflets on hip replacement surgery. "The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills," the story reads. "Of course, no one is suggesting we actually let children write the guides, but maybe we can learn something from their approach."
Dr. Cynthia Baur, director of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, suggested that a better way to improve communications materials is to engage the intended recipients. "Health care organizations that truly care about excellent patient experiences and well-being will find ways to involve patients, caregivers and others in the routine development of all types of health communication, even forms and facility signs," she is quoted as saying.