Magazine article USA TODAY

Health Websites Are Too Complicated. (Internet)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Health Websites Are Too Complicated. (Internet)

Article excerpt

Information provided on the Internet about children's health care is often too difficult for most adults to understand, according to a University of Iowa, Iowa City, Health Care study. The researchers randomly selected and analyzed children's health information from 89 different authoritative websites, and found that pediatric health care material was written, on average, at a 12th-grade level, although the typical American adult reads at an eighth-or ninth-grade level. It also identified ways health care providers can improve their writing to make online pediatric patient education materials more understandable.

"This literacy issue has significant implications for children's health care because adults are the people pediatricians need to educate the most about how to help their children," asserts Donna D'Alessandro, associate professor of pediatrics. "In addition, people are turning more and more to the Internet for consumer health information for children as well as for themselves."

It was thought that pediatric materials might be more readable than other health information since pediatricians deal with children and tend to use simpler language. …

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