Public Health Communication in Time of Crisis Readability of On-Line COVID-19 Information
Basch, C. H., Mohlman, J., Hillyer, G. C., et al. (2020). Public Health Communication in Time of Crisis: Readability of On-Line COVID-19 Information. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 14(5):635.
The authors emphasize research findings that indicate written information related to risk should be posted at a 6th grade reading level to have the maximum response. They searched Google Chrome using the keyword “coronavirus” and pulled the first 100 websites, then used readability tests to examine results. They found that the readability scores ranged from grade 6 to graduate school level; in some cases, readability exceeded 10th grade level, making it difficult for the average reader to understand. This information can be used by healthcare emergency managers to ensure risk communication materials are created to be readable and actionable by the general public.