Evaluating the Readability of Veterinary Client Handouts from Vetlexicon, Veterinary Partner, and ClientEd
Keywords:Readability, Health Literacy, Veterinary Medicine, Client Handouts, Comprehension, Client Education
AbstractReady-to-use animal health information handouts are a valuable service that have the potential to enhance veterinarian-client relationships and animal healthcare. Evaluating the readability of handouts is integral to ensure the information needs of veterinary clients are met. In this study, we describe the significance of client handout readability and review readability studies in veterinary medicine. We then present our analysis of the readability of 150 client handouts from three services: Vetlexicon from Vetstream, Veterinary Partner from VIN, and ClientEd from Lifelearn. With a few exceptions, the handouts scored were found to be written at a 9th through 11th grade reading level, above the recommended 6th grade reading level for human medical handouts, limiting the value and potential for enhancing communication about pet health and supporting the veterinarian-client bond.
Alpi KM, Stringer E, Devoe R. & Stoskopf M. 2009. Clinical and research searching on the wild side: exploring the veterinary literature. Journal of the Medical Library Association. 97(3):169-177. DOI: 10.3163/1536-5050.97.3.005.
Ancker J.S., Grossman L.V. & Benda N.C. 2019 Oct. Health literacy 2030: is it time to redefine the term? Journal of General Internal Medicine [Internet]. 1-4. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-019-05472-y.
[AVMA] American Veterinary Medical Association. 2020 Jan. CVTEA Accreditation Policies and Procedures - Appendix I . Available at https://www.avma.org/education/accreditation/programs/cvtea-accreditation-policies-and-procedures-appendix-i.
Boss N. 1999. Educating Your Clients from A to Z: What to Say and How to Say It. Lakewood (CO): AAHA Press.
Boss N. 2002. The Client Education Notebook: Customized Client Education Materials to Use in Your Own Practice. Lincoln (NE): AVLS-PetCom.
Boss N. 2003 Jun/Jul. Clients with bad information. Trends Magazine American Animal Hospital Association. 19:55-56.
Boss N. 2009. How We Do Things Here: Developing and Teaching Office-wide Protocols. American Animal Hospital Association Press.
Boss N. 2011. Educating Your Clients from A to Z: What to Say and How to Say It. 2nd ed. Lakewood (CO): AAHA Press.
Boss N. 2013a. Creating a client-centered hospital. In: Ackerman LJ, editor. Blackwell’s Five-minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult. 2nd ed. Ames (IA): Wiley. p. 70-71.
Boss N. 2013b. Client educations tools. In: Ackerman LJ, editor. Blackwell’s Five-minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult. 2nd ed. Ames (IA): Wiley. p. 362-365.
Catanzaro T.E. 2001. Promoting the Human-Animal Bond in Veterinary Practice. 1st ed. Ames (IA): Iowa State University Press.
Dean R., Brennan M., Baillie, S., Brearly J., Cripps P., Eisler M.C., Ewers R., Handel M., Holmes M., Hudson C., et al. 2017. The challenge of teaching undergraduates evidence-based veterinary medicine. Veterinary Record. 181(11):298-299. DOI: 10.1136/vr.j3441.
Dorman D.C., Alpi K.M. & Chappell K.H. 2013. Subject matter expert and public evaluations of a veterinary toxicology course brochure-writing assignment. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 40(1):19-28. DOI: 10.3138/jvme.0912.082R.
Gorman C. 2000. Clients, Pets and Vets: Communication and Management. Newbury (UK): Threshold Press.
Gray C. & Moffett J. 2010. Handbook of Veterinary Communication Skills. Ames (IA): Wiley-Blackwell.
Hare D. 2005. Health literacy. Canadian Veterinary Journal. 46(2):103-104. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831554/.
Kincaid J.P., Fishburne R.P., Rogers R.L. & Chissom B.S. 1975. Derivation of new readability formulas (automated readability index, fog count, and Flesch reading ease formula) for navy enlisted personnel. Memphis (TN): Naval Air Station. Research Branch Report 8-75.
Lee K., Hoti K., Hughes J.D. & Emmerton L. 2017. Dr. Google is here to stay but health care professionals are still valued: an analysis of health care consumers’ internet navigation support preferences. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 19(6): e210. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.7489.
Mattson K. 2019 Oct. Speak my language: veterinary medicine may face increasing challenges around language barriers [Internet]. JAVMA News. Available at https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2019-11-15/speak-my-language.
Mayer S.H. 2008. A librarian’s guide to providing resources for pet owners. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 232(10):1464-1467. DOI: 10.2460/javma.232.10.1464.
McLaughlin, G.H. 1969. SMOG grading: a new readability formula. Journal of Reading. 12(8):639-646.
Murphy S.A. 2006. Consumer health information for pet owners. Journal of the Medical Library Association. 94(2):151-158.
Royal K.D., Sheats M.K. & Kedrowicz A.A. 2018. Readability evaluations of veterinary client handouts and implications for patient care. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine. 33(2):58-61. DOI: 10.1053/j.tcam.2018.03.005.
Shaw J.R. & Hunter L.J. 2017. Communicating pet health information to veterinary clients. Clinician’s Brief. 15(5):37-40. Available at http://www.cliniciansbrief.com/article/communicating-pet-health-information-veterinary-clients.
Sheats M.K., Kedrowicz A. & Royal K. 2019a. A call for readability guidelines in veterinary medicine. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 254(1):46. DOI: 10.2460/javma.254.1.44.
Sheats M.K., Royal K. & Kedrowicz A. 2019b. Using readability software to enhance the health literacy of equine veterinary clients: an analysis of 17 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ newsletters and website articles. Equine Veterinary Journal. 51(4):552-555. DOI: 10.1111/evj.13042.
Sobolewski J., Bryan J.N., Duval D., O’Kell A., Tate D.J., Webb T. & Moore S. 2019. Readability of consent forms in veterinary clinical research. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 33(2):350-355. DOI: 10.1111/jvim.15462.
Stull J.W., Shelby J.A., Bonnett B.N., Block G., Budsberg S.C., Dean R.S., Dicks M.R., Forsgren B.W., Golab G.C., Hamil J.A., et al. 2018. Barriers and next steps to providing a spectrum of effective health care to companion animals. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 253(11):1386-1389. DOI: 10.2460/javma.253.11.1386.
Wang L.W., Miller M.J., Schmitt M.R. & Wen F.K. 2013. Assessing readability formula differences with written health information materials: Application, results, and recommendations. Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy. 9(5):503-516. DOI: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2012.05.009.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Isabella Baxter
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.