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Low health literacy serves as a distinct barrier for proper healthcare and affects a large portion of the U.S. population. Our team’s goal was to revise a brochure about headaches to fit the reading level and educational goals of the students in UD’s Intensive English Program (IEP). Our team performed a Health Literacy Load Analysis, SMOG test, and Word readability test to analyze the literacy of a headache brochure from Dr. Schneider’s Clinic, a headache and back clinic in Indiana. The results of these tests found that the reading level of the original document was much higher than the IEP students’ third to fourth grade reading level. We made two visits to the IEP class. The goal of the first visit was to find out what the IEP students already knew about headaches and what information they still wanted to know. Then we revised our existing brochure so that it matched the IEP students’ health literacy levels and incorporated the information that matched their interests. In the second visit, we field tested the revised brochure and received additional feedback from the IEP students to create a more effective final brochure. We were successful in lowering the readability of our brochure from an 11th grade reading level to a 5th grade reading level by replacing complex words and ideas with simpler terms. This project directly shows the need for health materials that are cognizant of individuals with lower health literacy.

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Course Project

Primary Advisor

Ann E Biswas

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


Presenters: Madie O'Brien Clements, Wyatt Andrew Kaiser, Shannon Rae Saelinger, Marrisa Ann Therriault

Understanding Headaches: An Analysis and Revision of an Existing Health Document for Intensive English Program Students