Event Title

Medication Information on Wikipedia is Accessible, but is it Readable?

Start Date

12-2-2010 12:00 AM

Description

Objective. This study was conducted to assess the readability of Wikipedia entries for commonly used medications using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and a novel measurement tool, the Health Information Readability Analyzer (HIReA). Background. Wikipedia is one of the most frequently used resources by online health information seekers. However, the readability of Wikipedia’s drug information content has never been systematically evaluated. Methods. The 50 most commonly prescribed drugs in the USA were identified and the corresponding Wikipedia entry page for each drug was analyzed by using FKGL and HIReA. The HIReA outputs a value of -1 (very hard) to 1 (very easy) as a measure of a document’s readability; whereas, the FKGL provides grade level equivalencies. Results. The readability analysis yielded a mean FKGL of 15.4 and HIReA of -.50 for the Wikipedia entries. The easiest to read entry by FKGL was for Dyazide (9.6), which was also the second easiest to read according to HIReA (-0.25). According to HIReA, Zestoretic (-0.17) was the least difficult to read. Dimensional analyses from HIReA indicated the difficulty of the documents as primarily that of the semantic domain (-0.84) relative to cohesion (-0.59), syntactic (-0.48), lexical (0.013), and style (0.015). Conclusion. The reading skills required for the 50 drug entries in Wikipedia are appreciably higher than the targeted levels for consumers as measured by both the FKGL and HIReA. Grants/Disclosures: This study was funded, in part, by National Institute of Health grants: R01 LM07222 and R01 DK75837.

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Feb 12th, 12:00 AM

Medication Information on Wikipedia is Accessible, but is it Readable?

Objective. This study was conducted to assess the readability of Wikipedia entries for commonly used medications using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and a novel measurement tool, the Health Information Readability Analyzer (HIReA). Background. Wikipedia is one of the most frequently used resources by online health information seekers. However, the readability of Wikipedia’s drug information content has never been systematically evaluated. Methods. The 50 most commonly prescribed drugs in the USA were identified and the corresponding Wikipedia entry page for each drug was analyzed by using FKGL and HIReA. The HIReA outputs a value of -1 (very hard) to 1 (very easy) as a measure of a document’s readability; whereas, the FKGL provides grade level equivalencies. Results. The readability analysis yielded a mean FKGL of 15.4 and HIReA of -.50 for the Wikipedia entries. The easiest to read entry by FKGL was for Dyazide (9.6), which was also the second easiest to read according to HIReA (-0.25). According to HIReA, Zestoretic (-0.17) was the least difficult to read. Dimensional analyses from HIReA indicated the difficulty of the documents as primarily that of the semantic domain (-0.84) relative to cohesion (-0.59), syntactic (-0.48), lexical (0.013), and style (0.015). Conclusion. The reading skills required for the 50 drug entries in Wikipedia are appreciably higher than the targeted levels for consumers as measured by both the FKGL and HIReA. Grants/Disclosures: This study was funded, in part, by National Institute of Health grants: R01 LM07222 and R01 DK75837.