During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an urgent need to provide information to the public. For this to be effective, information should be understandable. However, we know that many people may struggle with reading and understanding health-related information (this is known as health literacy). Ideally, any new reading material should be created at a level no higher than an eighth-grade reading level. Researchers recently studied the readability of online information about COVID-19 provided by government and public health agencies. The information came from 18 websites, including 3 public health agency sites and 15 official government sites of countries with 5,000 or more confirmed cases. They found that information about COVID-19 was difficult to understand and the language was too complex for the recommended reading level. We know that COVID-19 has greatly impacted communities where health literacy challenges may be common. As a result, the community that may benefit from the information the most, is not able to access it. This could make health disparities even worse. Going forward, efforts should focus on posting plain-language COVID-19 information for clear communication to all audiences.

Source: https://bit.ly/32kpezl

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