Literacy levels required to complete routinely used patient-reported outcome measures in rheumatology

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Objective. To assess the reading levels required to complete patient-reported outcome measures (PROs) commonly used in rheumatology clinical and research settings.

Methods. Ten PROs written in English were evaluated. Four reviewers critiqued each measure blindly using two standardized readability indexes and a final readability score for each PRO was agreed.

Results. Only six of the PROs met the recommended reading level for health education literature.

Conclusion. Many people completing PROs will not be able to understand what they are answering and will be unable to give an accurate perspective on their condition.

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