Measurement properties of continuous text reading performance tests

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2014 Nov;34(6):636-57. doi: 10.1111/opo.12158.


Purpose: Measurement properties of tests to assess reading acuity or reading performance have not been extensively evaluated. This study aims to provide an overview of the literature on available continuous text reading tests and their measurement properties.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed, Embase and PsycInfo. Subsequently, information on design and content of reading tests, study design and measurement properties were extracted using consensus-based standards for selection of health measurement instruments. Quality of studies, reading tests and measurement properties were systematically assessed using pre-specified criteria.

Results: From 2334 identified articles, 20 relevant articles were found on measurement properties of three reading tests in various languages: IReST, MNread Reading Test and Radner Reading Charts. All three reading tests scored high on content validity. Reproducibility studies (repeated measurements between different testing sessions) of the IReST and MNread of commercially available reading tests in different languages were missing. The IReST scored best on inter-language comparison, the MNread scored well in repeatability studies (repeated measurements under the same conditions) and the Radner showed good reproducibility in studies.

Conclusions: Although in daily practice there are other continuous text reading tests available meeting the criteria of this review, measurement properties were described in scientific studies for only three of them. Of the few available studies, the quality and content of study design and methodology used varied. For testing existing reading tests and the development of new ones, for example in other languages, we make several recommendations, including careful description of patient characteristics, use of objective and subjective lighting levels, good control of working distance, documentation of the number of raters and their training, careful documentation of scoring rules and the use of Bland-Altman analyses or similar for reproducibility and repeatability studies.

Keywords: IReST; MNRead; Radner; outcome measures; reading speed; reliability; validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Reading*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Vision Tests / standards
  • Visual Acuity*