Plain language summaries (PLS) are an important publication enhancement for enabling non-specialist audiences to connect with healthcare and science. In the poster ‘How readable are plain language summaries?’ presented at the 2021 European Meeting of ISMPP, Tony Ferrar & Emma Conran from Porterhouse Medical Group were interested in examining the readability of PLS of medical articles. The authors looked at PLS from four different journals and compared their readabilities to those of healthcare articles from the most commonly read online UK newspapers. Each of the journals had a different target audience for their summaries, and summaries were referred to as significance statements, author summaries, digests or PLS. Although the readability of these summaries tended to align with the target audiences the journals aim to reach, in general they were significantly harder to read than newspaper articles.
A plain language summary of the ARAMIS study, that looked looked at the role of darolutamide in the treatment of patients with nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer, has recently been published in Future Oncology. This Animated Video provides an overview of the plain language summary.
Read the full article ‘Darolutamide and survival in nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer: a patient perspective of the ARAMIS trial’ here.
The latest plain language summary of publication (PLSP) published in Future Oncology provides a summary of the ARAMIS trial, which looked at the role of darolutamide in the treatment of patients with nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer. The article entitled ‘Darolutamide and survival in nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer: a patient perspective of the ARAMIS trial’ is a summary of the original ARAMIS publication from the New England Journal of Medicine published September 2020.
As well as providing details on the trial itself, the summary also includes insights and perspectives from a participant who was in the ARAMIS trial and from a prostate cancer patient advocate.
Read the PLSP, with accompanying animated video, here.
The original article ‘Nonmetastatic, Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer and Survival with Darolutamide’, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, can be found here.
In this recent BMJ Opinion, writer, journalist and patient Roger Wilson advocates for the development of a plain language summary (PLS) even before the research has begun. In this way, researchers can keep in mind what they want to achieve and clearly explain their objectives. The PLS then evolves as the project develops with the the final version accompanying the journal article when published.
Read the opinion piece in full ‘Roger Wilson: Patients should be involved from the outset in creating plain English summaries of research papers’ to learn more about Roger’s idea to create an evolving lay summary.
Recognizing the vital role of patients in medical and scientific research, last year the Future Science Group (FSG) published a new style of article – a Plain Language Summary of Publication, the first of its kind for FSG. The article, published in Future Oncology, provides a summary of a recently published paper and has been written and designed specifically to be read by patient and non-specialist audiences to help them to understand the research presented.
In the accompanying editorial, by Joanne Walker and Laura Dormer entitled ‘Plain Language Summary of Publication articles: helping disseminate published scientific articles to patients’, we discuss our rationale for publishing Plain Language Summary of Publication articles.