The health brochure is an informative guideline for pregnant asthmatic women. It also acts as a guideline for health practitioners who work in reproductive health wing of hospitals.
The content is limited to a single objective: educating pregnant with asthma on misconceptions and right course of actions to undertake. The information is direct and brief in a way that the readers can easily understand. The discussion is limited to asthma during pregnancy. There is no information on other related conditions and the one provided only cover a page. The page is folded into three to enhance readability and attractiveness of the brochure. Furthermore, the article has some words that individuals without medical training cannot understand. Even though most parts of the brochure have words that resonate with the target audience, women lacking medical training may not understand critical explanations. For instance, naming the hormone responsible for improvement of asthma during pregnancy and use of medical jargons, such as immunotherapy and immunologist, may be unfamiliar to a common person. These terms complicate the sound explanations given in response to the questions raised. For example: the term gastroesophageal reflux is difficult to comprehend without a medical dictionary. Despite these flaws, the entire content is sound, valid, and appropriate for the target audience of all ages. However, the introduction contains unnecessary information that proves to be irrelevant.
The language use is above the 6th-grade level. The writers of this brochure mainly employed the use of both one and two syllable words in equal measure. The article features 16 short paragraphs with at most four sentences in each paragraph. Another notable element of text construction is the use of active voice. In addition, it is worth noting that the article contains no tables and graphs. The authors represented the data in the form of percentages and presented them in continuous prose within the paragraphs.
Fonts and Type of Styles
The authors of the brochure wrote in large fonts of Times New Roman and subtopics in bold and italics to establish a clear distinction of the topic from the rest of the paper except. On the same note, they wrote the topic in font larger than the one used for the rest of the paper to highlight the main subject matter. Additionally, they only used one front style in combination with excellent mixture of uppercase and lower case texts.
There is enough space between the pages of the brochure. However, the paragraphs are squeezed in order to fit all the information within the available space. Headings and subheadings are perfectly used to separate blocks of texts and enhance clarity and flow of information. There is only a single instance of use of bullets in the last paragraph in listing observable signs and symptoms of asthma. Furthermore, the designers of this brochure used illustrations on the cover page and the background of the last page. The border between the first and second page is marked with boxes of letter A and B. They also used a drawing of a feeding bottle to show the expectation of mothers to give birth to healthy children and the keys to show the agenda of the brochure (the way of maintaining pregnancy in spite of asthma). The diagrams and colors appeal to the readers, thus are appropriate for consumption by people of all age groups. No elements in the design are offensive in any way.
First of all, the introduction requires some content limiting. The authors bombarded readers with unnecessary information at the beginning of the brochure. The best way of solving this issue is limiting the content to definitions and specific dangers of asthma during pregnancy. Use of bullets in listing major points is the most effective way of arousing curiosity among readers and enhancing readability. Another way of introduction improvement is highlighting the questions touching on asthma and pregnancy prior to their discussion. Highlighting major questions the article seeks to answers is an important step towards raising the level of expectation among readers and stirring a sense of eagerness to find answers in other parts of the material. This improvement would also satisfy women who prefer perusing through the document other than reading every word.
Use of words is another aspect that requires improvement in this health material. As mentioned in section one, the authors incorporated various medical jargons that are likely to curtail comprehensiveness of the brochure. In conjunction, the improvements would replace words like cortisone, gastro-esophageal influx, theophylline, “allergy shots,” and immunotherapy as well as phrases, such as perform Lamaze and asthma flare-ups, with their simple meanings. Such replacements would simplify the content thereby ensuring that readers can absorb and digest every piece of information in the material. Besides, as long as the type of writing is above 6th grade level, it is important to reduce the level to meet the needs various group of the target audience.
Furthermore, the improvements would capture the layout. The authors used blocks of texts in paragraphs when building the material, however, they are less suitable for a health material required to pass direct message to an audience. In conjunction, the changes in this area would entail listing all the questions using bullets and shortening all the answers by including important information only.
The sentence ‘Most women with asthma are able to perform Lamaze breathing technique without difficulty’ is written at a reading level higher than a 6th grade. This sentence is rewritten as ‘Most women with asthma can easily use slow breathing techniques’ in order to lower the reading level.
When a subject with limited literacy skills reads this brochure, interesting revelations surfaced as far as achievement of the objective of the brochure is concerned. The subject only understood a single cause of asthma during pregnancy, which is stress. She also understood that it is permissible to continue receiving allergy shots at any stage of pregnancy. The last thing she learnt to do is continuing breastfeeding regardless of severity of her condition. This information replaced her fears with confidence. The word she understood clearly is immunotherapy. She comprehended the term as a therapy meant to boost the body’s ability to fight allergic reactions. Also, she remembered the diagrams in the brochure.
These feedbacks created a demand for modification of the document. First, it becomes obvious that there is too much information in the introduction and body of the article that contributes to information overload. Surprisingly, after reading the entire document, she only managed to capture basic elements of asthma and pregnancy. In response to this occurrence, it is important to retract redundant information and amplify the remaining few. It seems that the readers are primarily interested in the cause of asthma during pregnancy and simple precautions. Thus, the best course of action is amplification of the basic concepts and removal of secondary ideas that are not relevant to patients with low literary skills. This course of action would ensure that the health material is digestible to all readers irrespective of their mastery of language, literacy skills, level of education, and previous knowledge of the exact health information. Additionally, it is helpful to complement the topic with a few diagram presentation.