Development of the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT): A new measure of understandability and actionability for print and audiovisual patient information

Sarah J. Shoemaker*, Michael S. Wolf, Cindy Brach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To develop a reliable and valid instrument to assess the understandability and actionability of print and audiovisual materials. Methods: We compiled items from existing instruments/guides that the expert panel assessed for face/content validity. We completed four rounds of reliability testing, and produced evidence of construct validity with consumers and readability assessments. Results: The experts deemed the PEMAT items face/content valid. Four rounds of reliability testing and refinement were conducted using raters untrained on the PEMAT. Agreement improved across rounds. The final PEMAT showed moderate agreement per Kappa (Average K= 0.57) and strong agreement per Gwet's AC1 (Average. = 0.74). Internal consistency was strong (α= 0.71; Average Item-Total Correlation. = 0.62). For construct validation with consumers (n= 47), we found significant differences between actionable and poorly-actionable materials in comprehension scores (76% vs. 63%, p< 0.05) and ratings (8.9 vs. 7.7, p< 0.05). For understandability, there was a significant difference for only one of two topics on consumer numeric scores. For actionability, there were significant positive correlations between PEMAT scores and consumer-testing results, but no relationship for understandability. There were, however, strong, negative correlations between grade-level and both consumer-testing results and PEMAT scores. Conclusions: The PEMAT demonstrated strong internal consistency, reliability, and evidence of construct validity. Practice implications: The PEMAT can help professionals judge the quality of materials (available at: http://www.ahrq.gov/pemat).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalPatient education and counseling
Volume96
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Audiovisual materials
  • Clear communication
  • Educational materials
  • Health literacy
  • Instrument development
  • Measurement
  • Patient education
  • Plain language
  • Readability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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