Guiding principles for printed education materials: design preferences of people with aphasia

Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2012 Feb;14(1):11-23. doi: 10.3109/17549507.2011.631583. Epub 2011 Dec 5.


The objectives of this study were to obtain the preferences of people with aphasia for the design of stroke and aphasia printed education materials (PEMs) and to compare these preferences with recommendations in the literature for developing written information for other populations. A face-to-face quantitative questionnaire was completed with 40 adults with aphasia post-stroke. The questionnaire explored preferences for: (1) the representation of numbers, (2) font size and type, (3) line spacing, (4) document length, and (5) graphic type. Most preferences (62.4%, n = 146) were for numbers expressed as figures rather than words. The largest proportion of participants selected 14 point (28.2%, n = 11) and Verdana ref (33.3%, n = 13) as the easiest font size and type to read, and a preference for 1.5 line spacing (41.0%, n = 16) was identified. Preference for document length was not related to the participant's reading ability or aphasia severity. Most participants (95.0%, n = 38) considered graphics to be helpful, with photographs more frequently reported as a helpful graphic type. The identified preferences support many of the formatting recommendations found within the literature. This research provides guiding principles for developing PEMs in preferred formats for people with aphasia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aphasia / psychology*
  • Comprehension
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Consumer Health Information / standards
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Literacy
  • Health Services Needs and Demand* / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pamphlets*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards
  • Patient Preference*
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Queensland
  • Reading
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Perception
  • Writing