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29th Napa Pain Conference Posters

Online Patient Educational Materials for Spinal Cord Stimulation: A Readability Analysis


Description

Over the past decade, the use of Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) for managing chronic lumbosacral and cervical pain has increased dramatically. In that same time period, the accessibility of resources meant for patient education has similarly increased. That said, online information explaining the risks and benefits of SCS needs to be accessible, accurate, and comprehensive. Although, all fifty search results maintained accuracy and comprehensiveness when describing the procedure and its risks & benefits; we also found that, all search results, regardless of MD authorship, had calculated reading levels greater than 12th grade - significantly above the 6th grade reading level recommended by the American Medical Association (AMA).

The gap between recommended reading level and actual reading level of the given materials represents a limitation in information accessibility to patients. This can lead to unclear expectations related to both favorable and unfavorable outcomes. Strategies such as using shorter, more concise sentences, using less medical jargon, and removing confusing acronyms may improve the readability of materials. This can ultimately contribute to a more informed patient base. This is beneficial because patients and caretakers who are well‐informed about the procedure, indications, contraindications, risks and benefits may be better able to engage in shared decision making with their interventional pain practitioners, leading to a higher quality of health outcomes and care.

Speaker(s):

  • Mohan Ravi, Resident Physician, Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Perioperative Medicine

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