Zenker’s Diverticulum: Readability and Quality of Online Written Education Materials

Matthew Shneyderman, Ruth Davis, Grace Snow, Shumon Dhar, Lee M. Akst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


To assess the readability and quality of online materials for Zenker’s diverticulum. A Google search of “Zenker’s diverticulum” was performed and the first 50 websites were reviewed. Readability was measured by Flesch Reading Ease (FRES), Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and the Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) scores using an online calculator. Understandability and actionability were assessed with the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Printed Materials (PEMAT-P). Websites were categorized as either patient-targeted or physician-targeted and unpaired t tests were used to compare scores between these two groups. A total of 31 websites (23 patient-oriented sites and 8 physician-oriented sites) were analyzed. The average FRES, FKGL, and SMOG scores were 29.96 ± 14.72, 13.75 ± 2.78, and 12.19 ± 2.02, respectively, for the entire cohort. Readability scores for the patient-oriented sites were better than the physician-oriented sites for each measure (FRES 36.21 ± 8.86 vs 11.96 ± 13.54, FKGL 12.68 ± 1.58 vs 16.85 ± 3.25, and SMOG 11.37 ± 1.26 vs 14.53 ± 1.98; p < 0.001 for all comparisons). PEMAT-P understandability and actionability scores for the entire cohort were 68.20% ± 10.19% and 10.75% ± 16.52% respectively, and did not differ between patient-oriented and physician oriented sites. Though patient-oriented sites had better readability than physician-oriented sites for Zenker’s Diverticulum, both categories had readability levels more advanced than what is recommended for medical education materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Flesch reading ease
  • Flesch-Kincaid grade level
  • Patient education materials assessment tool for printed materials
  • Readability
  • Understandability
  • Zenker’s diverticulum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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