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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


BARRIO-CANTALEJO, Inés Mª; SIMON-LORDA, Pablo; MARCH CERDA, Joan Carles  and  PRIETO RODRIGUEZ, Mª Ángeles. Grammatical readability of the package leaflets of the medicinal products most widely consumed and generating the highest expense in Spain during 2005. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.82, n.5, pp.559-566. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background. The manufacturers of medicinal products are responsible for providing consumers proper information on the use of such products. This information is set out in the package leaflets which, according to current legislation, must be easy for patients to read and understand. The purpose of this study is to analyse the linguistic/grammatical readability of the package leaflets of medicinal products through application of the Flesch formula. Methods. The 30 medicinal products most widely consumed and the 30 which generated the highest expenditure during 2005 in Spain were selected. In line with the recommendations of the relevant literature, documents with a Flesch Index value of ≥ 10 were considered readable. The grammatical readability was calculated by using the Flesch Index accessible through the Microsoft Office 2000 programme. Results. Only 5 documents obtained an acceptable Flesch Index score (= 10), while 18 scored 0. Half of the values were under 2; 25% were 0 and 25% scored 6 or more. Conclusions. The data obtained reveal a low level of linguistic and grammatical readability in the package leaflets analysed. The syntax used on drafting the texts tends to use long words.

Keywords : Readability; Comprehension; Pharmacy.

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