Effects of text cohesion on comprehension and retention of colorectal cancer screening information: A preliminary study

Chiung Ju Liu, Susan M. Rawl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasing readability of written cancer prevention information is a fundamental step to increasing awareness and knowledge of cancer screening. Instead of readability formulas, the present study focused on text cohesion, which is the degree to which the text content ties together. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of text cohesion on reading times, comprehension, and retention of colorectal cancer prevention information. English-speaking adults (50 years of age or older) were recruited from local communities. Participants were randomly assigned to read colorectal cancer prevention subtopics presented at 2 levels of text cohesion: from higher cohesion to lower cohesion, or vice versa. Reading times, word recognition, text comprehension, and recall were assessed after reading. Two weeks later, text comprehension and recall were reassessed. Forty-two adults completed the study, but five were lost to follow up. Higher text cohesion showed a significant effect on reading times and text comprehension but not on word recognition and recall. The effect of text cohesion was not found on text comprehension and recall after 2 weeks. Increasing text cohesion facilitates reading speed and comprehension of colorectal cancer prevention information. Further research on the effect of text cohesion is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-240
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume17
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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