Navigation Links
From slam poetry to plain language for health care
Date:7/8/2009

SEATTLEThe doctor's mouth opens, and "medicalese" pours forth: words like "pyrosis" and "myocardial infarction." The patient's eyes glaze over. If only the doctor said "heartburn" or "heart attack," the patient could learn what caused the chest pain.

This failure to communicate is all too familiar. In 2005, Jessica Ridpath noticed it happening when health care researchers asked people to consider taking part in studies.

"Informed consent means people understand what they're agreeing to," said Ridpath. "But most consent forms are too complex for the reading abilities of the people they're supposed to inform." A slam poet and language lover, Ridpath is the research communications coordinator at Group Health Center for Health Studies. She just published her first article in the July/August American Journal of Health Promotion.

Ridpath worried that unreadable consent forms were hindering informed decision makingand raising risks for participants and research institutions alike. So four years ago she created the Project to Review and Improve Study Materials, or PRISM. Her article describes how PRISM evolved. First it was a short-term internal training initiative to boost consent form readability. Since then, PRISM has expanded into an enduring suite of hands-on resources. It includes a customizable training workshop and an editing service. Its centerpiece is a Toolkit that illustrates strategies for communicating clearly in written materials for study participants, such as informed consent documents, study invitations, letters, and information sheets.

The Toolkit is based on plain languagea communication style centered on the audience's needs and abilities. Researchers can see how to use plain language in study materials through the Toolkit's many concrete examples, including an alternative word list. Here's a brief excerpt:

Instead of: Try this:
Abdomen: Belly
Abrasion: Scrape
Absorb: Soak up
Abstain from: Don't use
Accomplish: Carry out
Accrue: Collect

You can download a free PDF of the Toolkit at www.centerforhealthstudies.org/capabilities/readability/readability_home.html.

PRISM swiftly drew interest from U.S. researchers and other health care professionals. They downloaded the Toolkit 2,000 times in its first year on CHS' Web site. Ridpath and colleagues have presented PRISM resources at more than 10 professional conferences nationwide. She has led training workshops for external and non-research audiences, including Public HealthSeattle & King County. Her training of Group Health patient education writers sparked an organization-wide plain language initiative, resulting in revisions to dozens of patient letters, brochures, and consent forms.

Efforts to give health information a plain language makeover have been gaining steam across health care since the Institute of Medicine's Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion in 2004. This report concluded traditional health information is too complex for roughly 93 million Americanshalf the adult populationto understand.

Since then, the American Medical Association and federal government have also focused on health literacy. Many plain language resources aimed at improving health literacy have sprung up online. Most focus on specific populations or illnesses. The PRISM Toolkit fills a gap in the range of tools already available: practical guidance addressing special challenges that researchers face when communicating with study participants.

"The Toolkit is unique for its emphasis on research," said article co-author Sarah M. Greene, MPH, a research associate at Group Health Center for Health Studies. "But it can also be extended for use in health care and education." PRISM may help meet the Healthy People 2020 objectives: For the first time, they'll include health literacy targets and measures.

"Centering research materials on patients is simply the right thing to do," said co-author Cheryl J. Wiese, MA, manager of the Survey Research Program at Group Health Center for Health Studies. "Anecdotally, we think using plain language has helped us recruit study participants."

As part of the PRISM editing service, Ridpath tracks readability improvements to study consent forms and other participant materials. To date, her readability editing has dropped reading level by an average of at least 2 grades, with most research materials now between 6th- and 8th-grade reading levels. And these scores don't account for additional improvements from designing and reorganizing the documents.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. MyMigraineConnection.com and Migraine Expert Teri Robert Announce Seventh Annual Migraine and Headache Poetry Contest
2. Physician Portrays Powerful Poetry at Heart of Human Condition
3. Migraine Poetry Contest Kicks Off at HealthCentrals MyMigraineConnection.com
4. The Hidden Story: Poetry Inspired by Authors Struggle with Depression, Addiction
5. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
6. New study may explain Vioxx side-effects
7. DaVita Receives Civil Complaint
8. Figure Skater Peggy Fleming, HealthSaver Says: Take Pains For Back Strains, 2nd Most Common Doctor Complaint
9. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
10. Different HIV rates among gay men and straight people not fully explained by sexual behavior
11. Number of Partners Doesnt Explain Gay HIV Rate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Mystic Buddha Publishing House ... Blue SKies Buddha, the biography of Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz. , ... the love of a Buddhist teacher for teaching and helping others. Valentine’s Day ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , Back to the Future , Feb. 25, 2016 ... Winston Churchill said, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” , ... come knocking this year. But that takes time. , Take a close look at ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker ... Red Carpet Events LA GRAMMY’s Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and ... hydrated before the big event. The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Every winter, someone is killed, ... the West Penn Burn Center, part of the Allegheny Health Network, has ... bring you the “Space Heaters Need Space” campaign. , “Space Heaters Need ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Vail knee ... Industry Physician Leaders to Know in 2016 . The list consists of physicians establishing, ... physicians to establish this list. , An Ambulatory Surgery Center, also known as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , February 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... nicht anders vermerkt)   http://www.sedar.com ... http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    --> ... des Unternehmens http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    ... (TSX:TST; PNK:BNHLF) veröffentlichte heute seinen Konzernabschluss des ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  SI-BONE, Inc., a medical device company ... ("iFuse"), a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) device indicated for fusion for ... Services, Inc. (NGS), the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) covering the states ... Maine , Massachusetts , ... New York , Rhode Island , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  Memorial Hermann Health System ... Dwight Howard to bring a one-of-a-kind experience to ... Using cutting-edge technologies such as 360-degree video and Google ... virtually, then literally – giving the patients and their ... it was all caught on video . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: