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Original Article

J Korean Gerontol Nurs. 2014 Apr;16(1):9-17. Korean.
Published online Apr 30, 2014.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17079/jkgn.2014.16.1.9
© 2014 Korean Gerontological Nursing Society
Evaluation of Readability of Health Leaflets and Health Literacy of Elderly Inpatients in a Medical Center
Yu Jeong Kim,1and Ga Eon Lee*2
1Dong-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
2Department of Nursing, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea.

*Corresponding author: Lee, Ga Eon. Department of Nursing, Dong-A University, 32 Daeshin Park Street, Seo-gu, Busan 602-714, Korea. Tel: +82-51-240-2885, Fax: +82-51-240-2920, Email: gelee@dau.ac.kr
Received October 24, 2013; Revised December 26, 2013; Accepted January 15, 2014.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the readability of health information leaflets (C. T. consent form and hospital guidelines) and health literacy of elderly inpatients.


The participants were 138 elderly Korean inpatients aged 60 years and over admitted to an advanced general hospital. Readability was assessed by having participants check leaflets for difficulty in reading and then classifying their checked vocabulary by Korean Vocabulary Level book. Health literacy was measured with five open questions on comprehension of the leaflets.


The readability for informed consent form was more difficult than that of hospital guidelines because of specialized medical vocabulary. The mean score for health literacy was 1.9 on a 5-point scale. There were statistically significant differences in readability and health literacy by education and religion. The scores for readability of health leaflets and health literacy were negatively correlated, implying that the easier it is to read the vocabulary of the leaflets, the higher the comprehension of the material. The factor that most highly influenced health literacy of elderly inpatients was readability.


Health leaflets in medical centers should be written for easy reading by using simpler vocabulary for elderly inpatients to improve their health literacy.

Keywords: Aged, Comprehension, Readability, Health literacy.


Table 1
Readability and Health Literacy of Elderly Inpatients according to General Characteristics (N=138)

Table 2
Evaluation of Readability of Health Leaflets by Elderly Inpatients (N=138)

Table 3
Elderly Inpatients' Health Literacy Scores for Health Leaflets (N=138)

Table 4
Correlation between Readability and Health Literacy of Elderly Inpatients (N=138)

Table 5
Factors Influencing Health Literacy of Elderly Inpatients (N=138)


This article is a revision of the first author's master's thesis from Dong-A University.

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