Readability of Ocular Medication Inserts

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ObjectiveTo determine the readability of ocular medication inserts and whether they are an appropriate source of medication information for patients.Materials and MethodsThe Flesch-Kincaid and SMOG readability formulas were used to calculate the readability of 10 common glaucoma medication inserts (Alphagan, Azopt, Betoptic, Betimolol, Cosopt, Optipranolol, Rescula, Trusopt, Timoptic, and Xalatan) and 6 widely used nonglaucoma medication inserts (Alrex, Lotemax, Ocuflox, Patanol, Pred Forte, and Zaditor).ResultsThe 10 glaucoma medication inserts surveyed required an average overall grade level of 12.9 ± 0.6 by the Flesch-Kincaid Index and of 13.5 ± 0.6 by the SMOG formula. The 6 nonglaucoma medication inserts had an overall grade level of 11.1 ± 0.6 by the Flesch-Kincaid Index and of 11.7 ± 0.9 by the SMOG formula. All medications reviewed were above the eighth-grade level recommended by the Flesch-Kincaid Index for public materials.ConclusionsOcular medication inserts are too complex to be an adequate source of medication information for the average American adult. This study highlights the need for improving communication and education regarding patients' medications.

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