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Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are used to evaluate patients' symptoms and clinical improvement after an intervention. Advocacy efforts and increased provider awareness regarding health literacy have helped to improve the readability of PROMs. Recent studies in otolaryngology in rhinology, pediatric otolaryngology, and head and neck reported PROM readability scores above the sixth-grade level. However, there is limited data regarding the readability of laryngology PROMs. Thus, this study aims to report the readability levels of PROMs in laryngology by assessing different readability indices and describing the relationship of readability levels to equitable healthcare. This is a bibliometric study that received approval from institutional review board (IRB) review as a nonhuman subject research study. Recent and widely utilized laryngology PROMs were selected from a publicly available literature search by reviewing laryngology systematic reviews, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Laryngology PROMs were selected from voice, dysphagia, airway, and other PROMs including voice questionnaires administered to patients seeking gender affirming voice care from systematic reviews and expert opinion. There were 37 PROMs included in this study. PROMs were analyzed via Gunning Fog, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), FORCAST, and Flesch Reading Ease Score. All laryngology PROMs had readabilities above the recommended sixth-grade level. The mean and standard deviation (SD) of Gunning Fog was 7.30 (2.59), SMOG was 8.70 (1.51), FORCAST was 10.05 (1.51), and Flesch Reading Ease Score was 8.08 (2.76). Laryngology PROMs are above the recommended middle school reading level. To further promote health equity, readability should be considered when developing future PROMs. NA Laryngoscope, 132:1069-1074, 2022. © 2021 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.


Shambavi J Rao, Joseph C Nickel, Eleanor P Kiell, Lyndsay L Madden. Readability of Commonly Used Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Laryngology. The Laryngoscope. 2022 May;132(5):1069-1074

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PMID: 34498753

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