Readability level of Spanish-language patient-reported outcome measures in audiology and otolaryngology

Laura Coco, Sonia Colina, Samuel R. Atcherson, Nicole Marrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the readability level of the Spanish versions of several audiology- and otolaryngology-related patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and include a readability analysis of 2 translation approaches when available—the published version and a “functionalist” version—using a team-based collaborative approach including community members. Method: Readability levels were calculated using the Fry Graph adapted for Spanish, as well as the Fernandez-Huerta and the Spaulding formulae for several commonly used audiology- and otolaryngology-related PROMs. Results: Readability calculations agreed with previous studies analyzing audiology-related PROMs in English and demonstrated many Spanish-language PROMs were beyond the 5th grade reading level suggested for health-related materials written for the average population. In addition, the functionalist versions of the PROMs yielded lower grade-level (improved) readability levels than the published versions. Conclusion: Our results suggest many of the Spanish-language PROMs evaluated here are beyond the recommended readability levels and may be influenced by the approach to translation. Moreover, improved readability may be possible using a functionalist approach to translation. Future analysis of the suitability of outcome measures and the quality of their translations should move beyond readability and include an evaluation of the individual’s comprehension of the written text.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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