Maria E Anderson, Dominick R Massa, Cynthianna M Mastropietro, Lauren T Olson


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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Partnering with the Intensive English Program (IEP) students at the University of Dayton, we attempted to address the issue of health literacy, specifically in the form of reading health documents. Being health literate requires the ability to understand instructions, guidelines, and general health information that can lead to action. Current health documents often include medical jargon and complex English that makes interpreting the information difficult for native English speakers and especially for those whom English is their second language. We transformed an informational document from a government site that covered general information on the flu into something that was more easily understood by students in UD’s IEP. First, we visited an IEP class and asked what they knew or wanted to know about the flu and then tailored the editing of a document toward their needs. We edited the original flu document into a more concise and “readable” brochure and then returned to the IEP class for further suggestions. We received feedback that certain terms were harder to understand than others and that they had a difficult time interpreting charts. Based off of the feedback, we made final edits to our document in which we removed the chart and further simplified the language used. Using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, we determined that the original document was written at an 11th grade level. After editing the document into a brochure, we were able to reduce the reading level to 3rd grade, which is more understandable for these readers. Through this project we were able to gain a better understanding of the issue of low health literacy in a hands on approach.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Ann E. Biswas

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Partnering with IEP Students to Improve the Readability of a Seasonal Flu Health Document