1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
READING LEVELS OF FOUR RESPIRATORY CARE PUBLICATIONS
David W. Chang, EdD, RRT, Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia
INTRODUCTION: The selection and use of respiratory care journals and magazines by RCP and RC students may be related to the reading level of the respective publications. METHOD: The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Index (FKRI) was used to analyze the reading levels of four RC publications. The FKRI was used because it accounts for the average number of words per sentence (WPS) and syllables per word (SPW) in the article. The WPS and SPW are important contributing factors of the readability of written materials such as medical and technical writings. The FKRI is a validated instrument for the assessment of readability when it is used to analyze writing samples of 100 words or more. From each of these four publications printed since December 1996, three articles were selected in random and three paragraphs of at least 100 words were used for the analysis and calculation of the FKRI for each article. The reading level was calculated by using the FKRI formula: Reading Grade Level = (0.39)(WPS) + (11.8)(SPW) - 15.59. Results: The FKRI's for the twelve articles analyzed in this study are as follows: AARC Times (15, 11, 16), Advance for RCPs (16, 14, 12), Respir Care (15, 14, 12) and RT (14, 15, 15).
Publication (Article #) (1) (2) (3) Average
AARC Times 15 11 16 14
Advance for RCPs 16 14 12 14
Respir Care 15 14 12 14
RT 14 15 15 15
Conclusions: The average reading levels of the four journals seem to be appropriate for RC students. The RC students should not have much difficulty in reading and comprehending the articles in these four RC publications.