Adherence to antifungals is poor in high endemic regions where antifungal resistance is high. Poor readability of prescription/over-the-counter (OTC) antifungals may contribute to poor adherence, due to the patient not fully understanding the purpose, importance, and dosage of their antifungal medicine. As there are no reports on the readability of antifungals, this study examined the readability of patient-facing antifungal information. Antifungals (n = 16; five classes [allylamines, azoles, echinocandins, polyenes, and others—flucytosine and griseofulvin]) were selected. Readability of four sources of information, (i) summary of product characteristics, (ii) patient information leaflets (PILs), (iii) OTC patient information, and (iv) patient web-based information, was calculated using Readable software, to obtain readability scores [(i) Flesch Reading Ease [FRE], (ii) Flesch–Kinkaid Grade Level [FKGL], (iii) Gunning Fog Index, and (iv) Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) Index) and text metrics [word count, sentence count, words/sentence, and syllables/word]. PILs, web-based resources, and OTC patient information had good readability (FRE mean ± sd = 52.8 ± 6.7, 58.6 ± 6.9, and 57.3 ± 7.4, respectively), just falling short of the ≥ 60 target. For FKGL (target ≤ 8.0), PILs, web-based resources, and OTC patient information also had good readability (mean ± sd = 8.5 ± 1.0, 7.2 ± 0.86, and 7.8 ± 0.1, respectively). Improved readability scores observed correlate with reduced words, words/sentence and syllables/word. Improving readability may lead to improved patient health literacy. Healthcare professionals, academics, and publishers preparing written materials regarding antifungals for the lay/patient community are encouraged to employ readability calculators to check the readability of their work, so that the final material is within recommended readability reference parameters, to support the health literacy of their patients/readers.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology.
This study was supported by internal funding.
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology.
- health literacy
- fungal resistance