Influence of text and participant characteristics on perceived and actual text difficulty

Obay Mouradi, Gondy Leroy, David Kauchak, James E. Endicott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Because patients customarily receive medical text that is difficult to understand, we are developing a simplification algorithm to support simpler writing by medical professionals. Our algorithm relies on term familiarity and automatically suggests alternative wordings from different sources. Weconducted a user study (N=17) to evaluate its effectiveness on reducing perceived and actual difficulty. Perceived difficulty was measured using sentences and a Likert-scale. Actual difficulty was measured using documents and multiple-choice and Cloze tests. We found a strong significant simplification effect for perceived difficulty (p=.002), but no effect for actual difficulty: only 6.2% improvement on the Cloze test. Evaluating participant characteristics showed that reading more newspapers or magazines correlated with lower multiple-choice (r=-386, p=.016) and Cloze test (r=- .340, p=.025) scores. STOFHLA scores, a health literacy measure, correlated with the Cloze test scores (r=.461, p=.002).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 46th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2013
Pages2464-2473
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event46th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2013 - Wailea, Maui, HI, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2013Jan 10 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Other

Other46th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2013
CountryUnited States
CityWailea, Maui, HI
Period1/7/131/10/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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