Readability of Human Subjects Training Materials for Research

Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Volume 13, Issue 1, February 2018

Ethical Issues in Social Science and Health Systems Research
Readability of Human Subjects Training Materials for Research
Kristie B. Hadden, Latrina Prince, Laura James, Jennifer Holland, Christopher R. Trudeau
First Published December 15, 2017; pp. 95–100
Institutions are required to ensure that persons involved in human subjects research receive appropriate human subjects protections training and education. Several organizations use the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program to fulfill training requirements. Most researchers find the CITI program too complex for community members who collaborate with researchers. This study aimed to determine the readability of CITI modules most frequently used in community-based participatory research (CBPR). The mean readability level of the CITI modules is 14.8 grade; CBPR readability levels ranged from 11.6 to 12.0 grade (sixth- to eighth-grade reading level is recommended). With a baseline objective measure, modifications can be made to improve the plain language quality and understandability of human subjects training modules for community members.