Readability of Questionnaires Assessing Listening Difficulties Associated With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders Purpose Eight English-language, student- or parent proxy-administered questionnaires for (central) auditory processing disorders, or (C)APD, were analyzed for readability. For student questionnaires, readability levels were checked against the approximate reading grade levels by intended administration age per the questionnaires' developers. For proxy questionnaires, results were compared to the reading grade ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2013
Readability of Questionnaires Assessing Listening Difficulties Associated With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Samuel R. Atcherson
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock/University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock
  • Cynthia M. Richburg
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana
  • Richard I. Zraick
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock/University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock
  • Cassandra M. George
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana
  • Correspondence to Samuel R. Atcherson: sratcherson@ualr.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Joe Reichle
    Associate Editor: Joe Reichle×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2013
Readability of Questionnaires Assessing Listening Difficulties Associated With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2013, Vol. 44, 48-60. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0055)
History: Received July 15, 2011 , Revised November 4, 2011 , Accepted June 25, 2012
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2013, Vol. 44, 48-60. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0055)
History: Received July 15, 2011; Revised November 4, 2011; Accepted June 25, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose Eight English-language, student- or parent proxy-administered questionnaires for (central) auditory processing disorders, or (C)APD, were analyzed for readability. For student questionnaires, readability levels were checked against the approximate reading grade levels by intended administration age per the questionnaires' developers. For proxy questionnaires, results were compared to the reading grade level for the average U.S. adult and the minimum 5th- to 6th-grade reading level for health materials as recommended by adult health literacy experts.

Method This was a descriptive study that was based on the results of a commercially available readability calculations software package. Text-based files of the 8 questionnaires were analyzed using 3 readability formulas: FORCAST (Caylor & Sticht, 1973), Flesch Reading Ease (FRE; Flesch, 1948), and Gunning’s Fog index (FOG; Gunning, 1952).

Results The FORCAST formula, the most appropriate for nonnarrative-type materials, indicated that all 8 questionnaires were written at reading levels between the 8th and 10th grades. The FRE and FOG formulas, designed for narrative-type materials, were generally in good agreement with one another but varied widely between the upper 4th- and 12th-grade levels.

Conclusion In an effort to decrease respondent burden, developers should consider readability as another testable psychometric construct. Clinicians should take into account the functional health literacy skills of adult proxy respondents when giving self-administered questionnaires.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors would like to thank Jack Katz and Thomas Zalewski for their permission to analyze and examine the Buffalo Model Questionnaire, which is currently undergoing modification and commercialization. We also thank Carlos Minaya for assistance with the preparation of earlier drafts.
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