Devin Pelcher, USA<br />Medicine 2.0<br />Toronto, Canada<br />September 18, 2009<br />
Devin P. Pelcher, Pharm.D. Candidate<br />Nova Southeastern University<br />Jennifer Miles, Pharm.D. Candidate<br />Nova S...
Introduction<br />Use of the internet for finding health related information is increasing<br />Survey conducted by Pew Re...
Introduction<br />75%<br />Internet Use<br />use the internet to search for health and medical information<br />Pew Intern...
Introduction<br />Wikipedia is often among the top results returned during internet searches<br />User-edited online encyc...
Introduction<br />2003 survey conducted by the NCES<br />Majority of adults <br />within two lowest <br />literacy levels<...
Objective<br />Previous research has evaluated readability of various types of <br />health-related information<br />Infor...
Methods<br />The sample consisted of the top 50 prescribed drugs<br />Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL)<br />Result is rep...
Methods<br />Wikipedia entries saved as HTML files and evaluated in raw text format<br />Outcome measure  ̶  FKGL of sampl...
Methods<br />Text <br />unit-length <br />features<br /># of characters/word, <br /># sentences/paragraph, <br /># of word...
Mean grade level of 15.5 is substantially above the reading level considered <br />to be difficult <br />(9th grade)<br />...
Discussion<br />Only the English version of Wikipedia was tested<br />The sample of 50 drugs is a subset and may not be re...
The reading difficulty of the sample drugs in this study represents a potential barrier to accurate interpretation and com...
For further information please contact:<br />Devin Pelcher, USA<br />pelcher@nova.edu<br />(Please Reference Med2.0)<br />
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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.
  • Readability of the Top 50 Prescribed Drugs in Wikipedia

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

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