Reading Skills of Dietetic Interns and Readability of Dietetics Literature

BEVERLY J. McCABE, SUZANNE D. KOURY, JAMES W. TYSINGER, MARY THERESE HYNAK-HANKINSON, SHARON FOLEY

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Abstract

Objective To assess and compare reading skills of dietetic interns with reading levels of internship references. Design A standardized reading test, the Nelson-Denny Reading Test, measured reading skills of entering dietetic interns over 7 years. A computerized readability program assessed the readability of references. Setting Dietetic internships in university and Veterans Affairs hospitals. Subjects Of 194 entering interns, 178 (92%) were included and 16 (8%) were omitted. Main outcome measures Nelson-Denny percentile and grade equivalent scores for vocabulary, comprehension, and total. The Fog Index identified reference reading-grade levels. Statistical analyses performed Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance. Results Interns from the two programs did not differ significantly on Nelson-Denny Reading Test scores or in application grade point average. Percentile means and standard deviations were 54.7±23.8 for vocabulary, 51.2±25.0 for comprehension, 52.9+23.9 for total, and 41.6±24.7 for reading rate. Nearly 20% (33 of 178) of interns read significantly below expected grade level. The Fog Index assigned reference grade levels from 6.98 to 21.63 years. Conclusions The majority of dietetic interns have strong reading skills and read within the references' reading levels. A minority may experience difficulties reading assignments. Preinternship reading skills assessment could lead to greater success in reading professional literature. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995; 95:874-878.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-878
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Volume95
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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