91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Study finds accessibility problems with state public health websites providing COVID treatment information

person receives COVID vaccine shot
Adobe Stock

A new study finds Michigan and other states did not do a good job providing the general public easy to understand information on COVID-19 treatments.

Last summer, researchers looked at state public health websites offering info on oral and injectable antiviral therapeutics for the coronavirus.

Mechelle Sanders is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Health at the University of Rochester. Sanders says Michigan, like many states, provided a lot of information online. But she says you needed a college education to fully understand it.

“If we are talking about getting information out there and having a public health response, we’re leaving a considerable amount of the population behind,” said Sanders.

Sanders says many state websites are poorly accessible, particularly for people with low literacy or limited English language proficiency.

She notes that South Dakota’s public health website did succeed in providing information on a sixth-grade level, though she adds the information was not as broad as that provided by others.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.