Author(s): Wiener RC, Wiener Pla RM, Wiener RC, Wiener Pla RM, Wiener RC, Wiener Pla RM
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Abstract PURPOSE: Patient educational materials for tobacco prevention and cessation are crucial for dental and dental hygiene education. The programs rely upon written educational material for tobacco prevention and cessation, referred to as empty packs (EMT-PCs), which students distribute to the community during face to face or community-based oral health and tobacco awareness programs. The public often does not understand the EMT-PC that is received due to the high level of complexity and readability of the documents. The authors conducted a study to investigate the EMT-PCs available and used in the West Virginia University School of Dentistry programs. It was hypothesized that they were readable at the eighth grade or lower level, used appropriate font, had good production quality, had appropriate content and were current. METHODS: The authors selected 40 EMT-PCs used in tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Initially, the Fry Readability Formula was applied. Next, they evaluated the font, language, production quality, appropriateness for the target audience and recency of the document based upon its copyright or revision within the previous 5 years. RESULTS: The average reading level of the EMT-PCs was grade 6.67 (range 2-17+). The average font size was 13.8 (range 8-14) and the average date of production or revision was 2003. Patient educational materials for the general public should be produced at or below the eighth grade reading level, have a 12 point or larger font size and be produced or updated within the previous 5 years. CONCLUSION: The hypothesis was supported in that EMT-PCs distributed in the West Virginia University School of Dentistry programs met the criteria for appropriate grade level, font, quality and content, while the average copyright or revision date was 5.9 years, slightly beyond the recommended 5 years. Effective EMT-PCs should be readable and appropriately directed to the target audiences. Dental professionals have access to current, quality tobacco cessation documents and should be aware of the need to evaluate the documents for appropriate literacy levels for various groups.
This article was published in J Dent Hyg
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems