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Consent information leaflets – readable or unreadable?
  • Published Date:
    Apr 24 2015
  • Source:
    J Clin Urol. 8(3):177-182.
Filetype[PDF-74.04 KB]

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  • Description:

    The objective of this article is to assess the readability of leaflets about urological procedures provided by the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) to evaluate their suitability for providing information.


    Information leaflets were assessed using three measures of readability: Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid and Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) grade formulae. The scores were compared with national literacy statistics.


    Relatively good readability was demonstrated using the Flesch Reading Ease (53.4–60.1) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (6.5–7.6) methods. However, the average SMOG index (14.0–15.0) for each category suggests that the majority of the leaflets are written above the reading level of an 18-year-old. Using national literacy statistics, at least 43% of the population will have significant difficultly understanding the majority of these leaflets.


    The results suggest that comprehension of the leaflets provided by the BAUS is likely to be poor. These leaflets may be used as an adjunct to discussion but it is essential to ensure that all the information necessary to make an informed decision has been conveyed in a way that can be understood by the patient.

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