Readability characteristics of consumer medication information for asthma inhalation devices

Lorraine Wallace, Steven Roskos, Barry Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose. Successful control of asthma relies heavily on patient adherence to prescribed inhalation therapies. Many patients are unable to use inhalers correctly and, therefore, do not reap the full therapeutic benefits. The purpose of this study was to assess the readability and related characteristics of Consumer Medication Information (CMI) for all prescription asthma inhalation devices currently available in the United States. Methods. We identified all brand-name ( n = 18) and generic ( n = 2) asthma inhalation devices currently available in the United States. English language CMI was obtained from pharmaceutical manufacturers of each identified product. The CMI from these products was evaluated for readability characteristics, including reading grade level using the Fry formula, text point size, dimensions (length and width), diagrams, and directions. Results. The mean Fry readability of the CMI was at grade level 8.2 ± 1.5 (range = 5-11), while the average text point size was 9.2 ± 2.2 (range = 6-12). The mean length of the pages on which the CMI was printed was 33.7 ± 21.5 cm, while the average width of pages was 12.9 ± 9.5 cm. There was an average of 6.2 ± 3.6 (range = 2-12) illustrations per CMI, while a device overview diagram was included in 14 (70%). Eleven ( n = 11) instructions included detailed step-by-step diagrams to supplement directions. Conclusions. Overall, most CMI for prescription inhalers is presented with a reading difficulty level, text size, diagrams, and instructions that make it suboptimal for patient education. Prescription inhaler manufacturers should consider revising their CMI to comply with generally accepted guidelines preparing patient education information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-378
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Asthma
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Inhalation device
  • Patient education
  • Readability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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