Review: Public health communication in time of crisis: Readability of on-line COVID-19 information

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Review: Public health communication in time of crisis: Readability of on-line COVID-19 information

Review: Public health communication in time of crisis: Readability of on-line COVID-19 information

This study found that most online COVID-19 information is written at or above a 10th grade reading level, making it difficult for the average American to read and understand.

Most people turn to written information to understand what is occurring in times of crisis like the current pandemic. To decrease the risk of panic and to inform the public, COVID-19 messages must be written at a reading level that most Americans can read and understand, which according to experts is a 6th grade level or lower. Unfortunately, most current messages are too difficult for the average American to read because they are written at a 10th grade or higher. To keep the public fully informed and compliant with recommended preventive behaviors, messages must be communicated with easier content they can understand.

|2020-05-13T08:52:07-04:00May 13th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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