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Readability of the Top 50 Prescribed Drugs in Wikipedia
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  • Note: The sentence that notes the two lowest literacy levels for the 2003 survey is an interpretation referring to the DHHS information. It is a cross reference between the data which suggests that the majority of adult literacy falls in the categories of intermediate, basic, below basic. Here the results of the NAAL study were a combined reference about the two lowest literacy levels using the DHHS categories – not the four categories the NAAL used.
  • ASL is the average sentence length (AVG#words/sentence) and ASW is average syllables per word (AVG#syllables/word).
  • HTML means “HyperText Markup language.” This was a way to preserve the web pages for further analysis later if found to be necessary.
  • In response to the question after the 9-18-09 Med2.0 presentation: The outlier just above ninth reading grade level (FKGL) score is Dyazide. It was only three sentences and was easier to read when compared to the other entries found in Wikipedia. Dyazide is not a good example of an easy to read document. It is simply easier to read than the other 49 drug entries in the sample.
  • HIReA uses an opposite rating scale with regards to the Y-axis. The more negative the number is, the more difficult a document is to read. This suggests that both statistical tools used to measure readability portray similar findings when regarding the sample as a whole.
  • Lexical is synonymous with text unit-length features.

Transcript

  • 1. Devin Pelcher, USA
    Medicine 2.0
    Toronto, Canada
    September 18, 2009
  • 2. Devin P. Pelcher, Pharm.D. Candidate
    Nova Southeastern University
    Jennifer Miles, Pharm.D. Candidate
    Nova Southeastern University
    Kevin A. Clauson, Pharm.D.
    Nova Southeastern University
    Qing Zeng-Trietler, Ph.D.
    Harvard Medical School
    SasikiranKandula, M.S.
    Harvard Medical School
    Special thanks to Lisa Ferguson
    and Jennifer Parker
    Authors
  • 3. Introduction
    Use of the internet for finding health related information is increasing
    Survey conducted by Pew Research Center
    74% of American
    adults are currently
    using the internet
    Internet Use
    Respir Care. 2008 Oct;53(10):1310-5.
    Pew Internet & American Life Project. Dec 2008
  • 4. Introduction
    75%
    Internet Use
    use the internet to search for health and medical information
    Pew Internet & American Life Project. Dec 2008
  • 5. Introduction
    Wikipedia is often among the top results returned during internet searches
    User-edited online encyclopedic reference that is freely accessible
    Since 2001
    260 languages
    2.5 millionarticles in
    English
    Professional language may be difficult for lay public to understand
    Wikipedia
    Wikipedia. Apr 2009
  • 6. Introduction
    2003 survey conducted by the NCES
    Majority of adults
    within two lowest
    literacy levels
    DHHS considers information written at:
    NCES: National Center for Education Statistics
    DHHS: Department of Health and Human Services
    Literacy
    4th to 6th
    grade
    easy
    7th to 9th
    grade
    average
    above 9th grade
    difficult
    NCES. Sept 2006
    Respir Care. 2008 Oct;53(10):1310-5.
  • 7. Objective
    Previous research has evaluated readability of various types of
    health-related information
    Informed consent forms, printed journals and other internet sites
    The purpose of
    this study was to
    investigate the
    readability of
    drug information
    in Wikipedia
    Respir Care. 2008 Oct;53(10):1310-5.
    J Community Health. 2005 Jun;30(3):213-9.
    BMJ.1992 Nov 2;305(6864):1263–1264.
  • 8. Methods
    The sample consisted of the top 50 prescribed drugs
    Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL)
    Result is reported as a grade level
    Sample &
    FKGL
    Instrument
    (.39 x ASL) + (11.8 x ASW) – 15.59
    SFI Medical. 2008
    Respir Care. 2008 Oct;53(10):1310-5.
  • 9. Methods
    Wikipedia entries saved as HTML files and evaluated in raw text format
    Outcome measure ̶ FKGL of sample Wikipedia entries, reported as descriptive statistics
    The same outcome measure was repeated for HIReA and HIReA extracts
    FKGL
    Testing &
    Outcome
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. Methods
    Text
    unit-length
    features
    # of characters/word,
    # sentences/paragraph,
    # of words/sentences
    HIReA
    Extract
    text features
    (four categories)
    1
    2
    3
    4
    Syntactic
    features
    # of Parts-of-Speeches/sentence
    (e.g., verb, noun, pronoun, etc..)
    Familiarity scores of terms and
    concepts from open access
    collaborative (OAC) consumer
    health vocabulary
    Semantic
    features
    # of overlapping concepts in
    adjacent sentences
    Cohesion
    AMIA AnnuSymp Proc 2008:353-7.
  • 13.
  • 14. Mean grade level of 15.5 is substantially above the reading level considered
    to be difficult
    (9th grade)
    Discussion
    Further analysis is recommended to assess any correlation between word count, grammar/spelling recommendations and FKGL score
    Functionally literate individuals may still lack the skills needed to make adequate health decision
    Individuals with differing literacy levels can access Wikipedia so it may be best to write information at a level that is considered easy to read
    Respir Care. 2008 Oct;53(10):1310-5.
    NNLM. June 2008
  • 15. Discussion
    Only the English version of Wikipedia was tested
    The sample of 50 drugs is a subset and may not be representative of all drugs within Wikipedia
    Words not found in the dictionary may be handled differently when scores are calculated using the same readability tools
    Limitations
  • 16. The reading difficulty of the sample drugs in this study represents a potential barrier to accurate interpretation and comprehension of the drug information presented in Wikipedia
    Conclusion
  • 17. For further information please contact:
    Devin Pelcher, USA
    pelcher@nova.edu
    (Please Reference Med2.0)