The National Institutes of Health and Center for Disease Control recommend the readability of self-administered patient questionnaires to be written at or below a sixth to eight grade reading level. The aim of this study is to evaluate the readability of commonly used urinary incontinence (UI), pelvic organ prolapse (POP), overactive bladder (OAB), and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) questionnaires.
Eighteen validated urologic questionnaires were analyzed using four readability assessment tools. A mean grade-level needed to comprehend each questionnaire was calculated.
For UI questionnaires, three out of five questionnaires required a reading level of 10th grade or higher, two grade levels above recommendations. Only one POP questionnaire met recommendations with a mean readability score of 5.9, whereas the other questionnaires required a ninth-grade reading level or higher. For the OAB questionnaires, three out of five questionnaires met reading recommendations. Readability scores for BPH questionnaires ranged from 6.4 to 11.2, with only the International Prostate Symptom Score questionnaire in compliance with recommendations.
The majority of currently available pelvic floor dysfunction questionnaires do not comply with recommended reading levels, suggesting that these questionnaires are written at a level too advanced for a large proportion of the population. This limits their effectiveness in accurately assessing symptom severity and impact on quality of life.

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