Health Information messaging is too complicated for most Americans

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

The information about COVID-19 provided by various agencies was not communicated effectively to the public, a study found.

The review of web content about COVID-19 revealed that the information disseminated by government officials was too complex for a general audience. The study analyzed over 137 web pages from federal and state sources and found that the information about COVID-19 was averaged at an 11th-grade reading level. All 50 U.S. states provided information above the eighth-grade level. Nine of the 10 states with the highest illiteracy rates had websites written above a 10th-grade level. The differences between eighth and 11th-grade text levels are crucial.

Previous research has found that only 12 percent of American adults exhibit proficient health literacy.

Information about COVID-19 can be confusing and contradictory. It is important that individuals can rely on factual sources when it comes to making decisions about their health.

Only 12 percent of American adults have proficiency in reading and writing health-related information. People with lower health literacy are more likely to be affected by the pandemic than those with higher levels of reading ability.

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Alvin Tanicala

Alvin Tanicala

Registered HIT man. Follower. Learner. Analog Life Virtualization.