Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015
Readability of Ebola Information on Websites of Public Health Agencies, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Europe
|Readability formula||Selected website
||Mean ± SD (95% CI)|
|ECDC (20.0)†||PHE (16.40)†||CDC (17.49)†||Government of Canada (16.38)†||WHO (NA)||Government of Australia (12.55)†|
|Gunning Fog Index||13.7 (hard to read)||13.9 (hard to read)||10.7 (hard to read)||12.9 (hard to read)||10.3 (fairly easy to read)||14.1 (hard to read)||12.6 ± 1.68 (10.83–14.36)|
|Flesch Reading Ease Score||48.2 (difficult to read)||45.4 (difficult to read)||53 (fairly difficult to read)||42.2 (difficult to read)||62.3 (standard/avg)||42 (difficult to read)||48.85 ± 7.76 (40.69–57.00)|
|Automated Readability Index||11.6 (17–18 y old)||12.5 (18–19 y old)||7.8 (12–14 y old)||11.8 (17–18 y old)||8.6 (13–15 y old)||11.9 (17–18 y old)||10.7 ± 1.97 (8.62–12.77)|
|Coleman-Liau Index||12 (12th grade)||12 (12th grade)||10 (10th grade)||13 (college)||9 (9th grade)||11 (11th grade)||11.16 ± 1.47 (9.62–12.71)|
|SMOG Index||10.7 (11th grade)||11 (11th grade)||9.4 (9th grade)||11.1 (11th grade)||8.4 (8th grade)||11.5 (12th grade)||10.35 ± 1.19 (9.09–11.60)|
|Linsear Write Formula||13 (college)||14.1 (college)||8.4 (8th grade)||12.6 (college)||9.5 (10th grade)||14.1 (college)||11.95 ± 2.42 (9.40–14.49)|
|Flesch-Kincaid US Grade Level||11.3 (11th grade)||12.1 (12th grade)||9.2 (9th grade)||11.8 (12th grade)||8.8 (9th grade)||12.4 (12th grade)||10.93 ± 1.54 (9.31–12.55)|
*ECDC, European Centre for Disease Control; PHE, Public Health England; CDC, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; WHO, World Health Organization; NA, not applicable; avg, average; SMOG, simple measure of gobbledygook. Items in parentheses are general assessments, age levels, or US-equivalent grade levels.
†Percentage of adults 16–65 years of age with literacy proficiency below reading level recommended for health information materials. ECDC percentage refers to a sample of 17 European Union Member States (12).
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- World Health Organization. WHO Disease Outbreak News 1st October 2014: Ebola virus disease—United States of America. World Health Organization, Global alert and response; 2014 [cited 2014 Nov 11]. http://www.who.int/csr/don/01-october-2014-ebola/en/
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