Patient educational material too complex for average consumers

definition-academic-research-writing-800X800A study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggests that despite good intentions, many patient educational  materials are too difficult for patients and their families to grasp.  The average reading level of the online materials by groups ranging from the American Society of Anesthesiologists to the American Psychiatric Association, fell anywhere from ninth grade to the sophomore year of college.  That’s far above the fourth-to-sixth grade level recommended by the American Medical Association and by a number of U.S. Government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services. Continue reading

Online ads becoming less effective

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY: According the Columbia Journalism Review some 47 percent of US internet users now utilize ad blocking software. Consumers are, the study says, annoyed with “advertising and the interruption it causes to their reading experience.” Focus group participants seemed to particularly hate ads that surfaced based on browsing history. As one woman put it, “Online ads are obtrusive, obnoxious, annoying.” Continue reading

Is anyone reading your health content?

dont have time contentPOST SUMMARY: Understanding how people read on the web and search for information can directly influence how we design our webpages and websites. The truth is, people are going to skim and scan all the content you’ve written, looking for something that catches their attention or matches the reason they’re visiting your website in the first place. This is a key reason why drug website content should be written by someone who both understands your audience’s needs and can talk to them in a “conversation” style. Continue reading