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Health literacy is defined as the wide range of skills that people develop over their lifetime to comprehend and use health information to make informed choices, reduce health risks, and increase quality of life. In an effort to address the problem of health literacy, we worked with students in level two of the University of Dayton’s Intensive English Program (IEP) to develop a helpful health resource about snoring. After learning from the students what they wanted to know about snoring, we were able to choose an existing health text that required a high level of literacy in order to achieve understanding. Using that text, we created a new fact sheet with important information about snoring and delivered that information in a way that made it understandable for the IEP students. After field testing our document with the IEP students, we were able to use their feedback to make improvements and ensure the material was easy to understand. As a result of this work, after performing several analysis tests, we determined original document had an average readability level of 9.7 and rewrote it to require an average reading level of 3.9, cutting the literacy level required down by more than half. This project worked to demonstrated how to reduce the readability challenges of a health document for people of lower literacy levels in order for them to understand important health information.

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Course Project

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Ann E Biswas

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


Presenters: Andrew J Deak, Adriana Beatrice Figueroa Santiago, Carrie Anne Siekierski

Improving Health Resources on Snoring to Increase Intensive English Program Students’ Understanding