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Bruetting, Julia, Reinhardt, Lydia, Bergmann, Maike, Schadendorf, Dirk, Weber, Christiane, Tilgen, Wolfgang, Berking, Carola and Meier, Friedegund (2019): Quality, Readability, and Understandability of German Booklets Addressing Melanoma Patients. In: Journal of Cancer Education, Vol. 34, No. 4: pp. 760-767

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Booklets are the preferably used form among patient education materials and are often handed out during medical consultations in dermatological oncology settings. However, little is known about how beneficial they are and whether they correspond to essential quality characteristics. To assess the quality, readability, and understandability of currently freely available booklets written in German addressing melanoma patients (MP). Melanoma booklets in accordance with predefined criteria were searched and analyzed. Three reviewers independently assessed their quality and understandability by applying the DISCERN tool and PEMAT-P. The Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) was calculated to determine readability. Nine booklets addressing MP were analyzed. The overall median DISCERN score was 3.6 (interquartile range (IQR) 2.9-4.1), median PEMAT-P score was 91% (IQR 83-94.5), and median FRES was 43 (IQR 33.5-47.5), indicating a medium quality, a high application of understandability elements, but low readability in at least half of the booklets. Incomplete reporting on treatments and insufficient meta-information caused the main quality deficits. There is a need of content and didactic revision of German booklets for MP to raise their quality and to make them beneficial and understandable for more patients. An adaption in accordance with evidence-based criteria and an even stronger involvement of MP in assessment and development of patient education material are considered to be the best approaches.

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