Honors Theses


Ann Biswas



Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


For many members of lower socioeconomic classes in the United States, a routine trip to a doctor’s office can be fueled by complete fear and confusion. This is due to a variety of factors, but a major contributor is the low level of health literacy that is often associated with members of lower socioeconomic levels. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” Informed consent documents are used frequently when a patient needs a medical procedure or operation. These documents are signed by the patient affirming that they understand and accept the risks and methods for a procedure. However, if the patient signing these consent documents does not understand the information, there can be significant legal problems and ethical dilemmas that will arise. This project therefore examines informed consent documents given to patients and analyzes the readability and usability of these documents. After examining these documents, recommendations for improving their user friendliness were made to increase comprehension.

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This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research