Jan 1, 2002
Published in: Seventh Conference on Health Survey Research Methods / Edited by Marcie L. Lynamon and Richard A. Kulka (Hyattsville, Maryland: DHHS Publication, 2001), no. (PHS) 01-1013, p. 83-90
An assessment of the readability of the English and Spanish versions of the surveys developed for the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study (CAHPS, version 2.0) suggests that these instruments require a seventh-grade reading level for adequate comprehension. The readability formulas used to assess the surveys were: the Fry Readability Graph (English and Spanish versions), the FOG Index, the SMOG grading formula, and the Flesch Reading Ease Score, supplemented with counts of a variety of syntactic and semantic factors. CONCLUSION: The reading level required by the CAHPS surveys for full comprehension may be appropriate for commercially insured populations, but it exceeds the reading ability of more than 50% of welfare recipients. Finding a balance between collecting important information and maintaining a reasonable level of survey readability will be an important consideration as future versions of the CAHPS surveys are developed.