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Title: Readability of Patient Education Materials From Professional Societies in Radiation Oncology: Are We Meeting the National Standard?


No abstract prepared.

 [1];  [2]
  1. MacNeal Hospital, Transitional Year Residency, Chicago, Illinois (United States)
  2. University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 91; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Byun, John, E-mail:, and Golden, Daniel W. Readability of Patient Education Materials From Professional Societies in Radiation Oncology: Are We Meeting the National Standard?. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1016/J.IJROBP.2014.12.035.
Byun, John, E-mail:, & Golden, Daniel W. Readability of Patient Education Materials From Professional Societies in Radiation Oncology: Are We Meeting the National Standard?. United States. doi:10.1016/J.IJROBP.2014.12.035.
Byun, John, E-mail:, and Golden, Daniel W. 2015. "Readability of Patient Education Materials From Professional Societies in Radiation Oncology: Are We Meeting the National Standard?". United States. doi:10.1016/J.IJROBP.2014.12.035.
title = {Readability of Patient Education Materials From Professional Societies in Radiation Oncology: Are We Meeting the National Standard?},
author = {Byun, John, E-mail: and Golden, Daniel W.},
abstractNote = {No abstract prepared.},
doi = {10.1016/J.IJROBP.2014.12.035},
journal = {International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics},
number = 5,
volume = 91,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 4
  • Purpose: Physicians encourage patients to be informed about their health care options, but much of the online health care–related resources can be beneficial only if patients are capable of comprehending it. This study's aim was to assess the readability level of online patient education resources for radiation oncology to conclude whether they meet the general public's health literacy needs as determined by the guidelines of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Medical Association (AMA). Methods: Radiation oncology–related internet-based patient education materials were downloaded from 5 major professional websites (American Society for Radiation Oncology, American Associationmore » of Physicists in Medicine, American Brachytherapy Society, (, and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group). Additional patient education documents were downloaded by searching for key radiation oncology phrases using Google. A total of 135 articles were downloaded and assessed for their readability level using 10 quantitative readability scales that are widely accepted in the medical literature. Results: When all 10 assessment tools for readability were taken into account, the 135 online patient education articles were written at an average grade level of 13.7 ± 2.0. One hundred nine of the 135 articles (80.7%) required a high school graduate's comprehension level (12th-grade level or higher). Only 1 of the 135 articles (0.74%) met the AMA and NIH recommendations for patient education resources to be written between the third-grade and seventh-grade levels. Conclusion: Radiation oncology websites have patient education material written at an educational level above the NIH and AMA recommendations; as a result, average American patients may not be able to fully understand them. Rewriting radiation oncology patient education resources would likely contribute to the patients' understanding of their health and treatment options, making each physician-patient interaction more productive and efficient.« less
  • Purpose: To transition from an in-house incident reporting system to a ROILS standards system with the intent to develop a safety focused culture in the Department and enroll in ROILS. Methods: Since the AAPM Safety Summit (2010) several safety and reporting systems have been implemented within the Department. Specific checklists and SBAR reporting systems were introduced. However, the active learning component was lost due to reporting being viewed with distrust and possible retribution.To Facilitate introducing ROILS each leader in the Department received a copy of the ROILS participation guide. Four specific tasks were assigned to each leader: develop a reportingmore » tree, begin the ROILS based system, facilitate adopting ROILS Terminology, and educate the staff on expectations of safety culture. Next, the ROILS questions were broken down into area specific questions (10–15) per departmental area. Excel spreadsheets were developed for each area and setup for error reporting entries. The Role of the Process Improvement Committee (PI) has been modified to review and make recommendations based on the ROILS entries. Results: The ROILS based Reporting has been in place for 4 months. To date 64 reports have been entered. Since the adoption of ROILS the reporting of incidents has increased from 2/month to 18/month on average. Three reports had a dosimetric effect on the patient (<5%) dose variance. The large majority of entries have been Characterized as Processes not followed or not sure how to Characterize, and Human Behavior. Conclusion: The majority of errors are typo’s that create confusion. The introduction of the ROILS standards has provided a platform for making changes to policies that increase patient safety. The goal is to develop a culture that sees reporting at a national level as a safe and effective way to improve our safety, and to dynamically learn from other institutions reporting.« less
  • In this era of globalization and rapid advances in radiation oncology worldwide, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is committed to help decrease profound regional disparities through the work of the International Education Subcommittee (IES). The IES has expanded its base, reach, and activities to foster educational advances through a variety of educational methods with broad scope, in addition to committing to the advancement of radiation oncology care for cancer patients around the world, through close collaboration with our sister radiation oncology societies and other educational, governmental, and organizational groups.
  • No abstract prepared.
  • Purpose: The Oncology Education Initiative was created to advance oncology and radiation oncology education by integrating structured didactics into the existing core radiology clerkship. We set out to determine whether the addition of structured didactics could lead to a significant increase in overall medical student knowledge about radiation oncology. Methods and Materials: We conducted a pre- and posttest examining concepts in general radiation oncology, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. The 15-question, multiple-choice exam was administered before and after a 1.5-hour didactic lecture by an attending physician in radiation oncology. Individual question changes, overall student changes, and overall categorical changes weremore » analyzed. All hypothesis tests were two-tailed (significance level 0.05). Results: Of the 153 fourth-year students, 137 (90%) took the pre- and posttest and were present for the didactic lecture. The average test grade improved from 59% to 70% (p = 0.011). Improvement was seen in all questions except clinical vignettes involving correct identification of TNM staging. Statistically significant improvement (p {<=} 0.03) was seen in the questions regarding acute and late side effects of radiation, brachytherapy for prostate cancer, delivery of radiation treatment, and management of early-stage breast cancer. Conclusions: Addition of didactics in radiation oncology significantly improves medical students' knowledge of the topic. Despite perceived difficulty in teaching radiation oncology and the assumption that it is beyond the scope of reasonable knowledge for medical students, we have shown that even with one dedicated lecture, students can learn and absorb general principles regarding radiation oncology.« less