1. Darby, Barbara BSN, RN, CGRN
  2. Kohler, Denise MSN, RN

Article Content

Cancer of the colon or rectum is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is over 90%. Success of the exam depends on adequate bowel cleansing so that polyps, neoplasms and arteriovenous malformations can be detected. Several American adults have limited literacy skills, and this contributes to the lack of adherence to the instructions for bowel preparation prior to a colonoscopy. Suboptimal bowel preparation, because of patient non-adherence or lack of comprehension of instructions, often necessitates repeat testing, which is time consuming and expensive. If colonoscopy instructions are written at a sixth or lower grade level, then the patients' comprehension will be improved, decreasing suboptimal preparations and increasing the number of successful exams.


This presentation will present the results of a study where a readability calculations computer program was utilized to assess the reading level of bowel preparation instructions. The endoscopist performing the colonoscopy scored the exam as successful or unsuccessful. Results comparing the experimental group (who received the simplified instructions from the doctor's office) to the control group (who are given the currently used instructions) will be reported. Knowledge about the average patient's literacy level is crucial, so that patient instructions are comprehensible and effective.


Section Description

We are pleased to present the abstracts from SGNA's 34th Annual Course, Charting a Course for Professional Growth. The diversity of these topics certainly reflects the richness and breadth of our specialty. In keeping with the tradition of the Annual Course, we hope the following abstracts will encourage discussions for improving nursing practice and patient care outcomes.