Published October 8, 2020
Congratulations to Associate Professors Isok Kim and Wooksoo Kim, PhD student Krisztina Baltimore, and colleagues on the publication of their article, "Simple contents and good readability: Improving health literacy for LEP populations," in International Journal of Medical Informatics.
Kim, W., Kim, I., Baltimore, K., Imtiaz, A. S., Bhattacharya, B. S., & Lin, L. (2020). Simple contents and good readability: Improving health literacy for LEP population. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 141.
Accessing and receiving quality healthcare in an unfamiliar health system is a significant challenge for many new immigrants and refugees. This study aims to provide a three-phase model to develop a web-based health information website that helps populations with limited English proficiency (LEP) increase health literacy and improve healthcare service access. Method: First, we conducted a needs assessment from community leaders and service providers. Second, we developed contents from credible sources and tested each item using multiple readability tests. Last, we revised each item to lower the readability and retest its readability. Results: The average reading level for the original 99 topics was assessed at 10.84 (SD= 3.26). After revisions, we were able to lower the readability to 8.56 (SD= 2.96), which was around two grade levels lower, on average. Conclusion: the main purpose for building an English based health information website was to assist the population with LEP. By using simple English with lower readability, it will ease the translation process. This study demonstrates a process to develop suitable contents for populations in need. In the future, incorporating visual aid and other multimedia will be beneficial in user engagement and knowledge retention.