Readability of CAMHS Clinical Letters

Daniel M. Bennett* (Corresponding Author), Emma Drane, Anne Gilchrist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sending clinical letters to patients is common practice in CAMHS. Ease of reading and understanding is important for patients. Readability formulae are feasible and quick ways to assess this.

Method: Clinical letters sent to patients were analysed for readability and whether they reached a preset threshold. Factors influencing readability were investigated.

Results: Most letters were less easily readable than is appropriate. Letters written directly to patients were more readable than copied letters.

Conclusions: Patients sometimes receive letters that are unlikely to be easily readable. Word processing packages contain readability formulae that could be used to check and improve readability of letters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number3
Early online date19 Sep 2011
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • readability
  • patient involvement
  • communication
  • clinical letters


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