Readability of PTA Textbooks and Reading Comprehension Rates of PTA Students


  • Becky Keith Arkansas State University
  • Stacey Sloas Arkansas State University
  • Melody Mooney Arkansas State University
  • Tracie Norris Arkansas State University



Readability, Reading comprehension, textbooks, Nelson Denny reading text, Physical therapist assistant


The purpose of this study was to determine if correlations exist between independent reading comprehension levels of students measured by the Nelson Denny Reading Test (NDRT), readability of textbooks used for instruction and the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) in a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program.
Applications of NDRT, readability formulas, and textbooks were identified.
NDRT, course, and NPTE scores of 161 graduates of the PTA program were used. Multiple readability formulas were applied to five textbooks. Correlations were calculated.
Mean NDRT- total score was 14.67. Three of five textbooks had higher readability levels than the mean NDRT reading comprehension levels of students. A moderate positive correlation existed between NDRT and NPTE scores.

Author Biographies

Becky Keith, Arkansas State University

Becky Keith, PT, MSHS is an assistant professor and physical therapist assistant program director at Arkansas State University. Her research interests include: reading comprehension, readability of texts, successful completion of allied health professional programs and licensure pass rates.

PO Box 910
Arkansas State University
State University-Jonesboro, AR 72467
(870) 972-2896

Stacey Sloas, Arkansas State University

Stacey Sloas, PT, MSE, is an assistant professor at Arkansas State University. She has a background in public education and also practices as a physical therapist.

Melody Mooney, Arkansas State University

Melody Mooney, Ed. S. in Reading, is a certified and licensed Reading Specialist for K-12 and certified in teaching core courses in K-8 in Arkansas. She has 8 years’ experience teaching and recently worked as a graduate assistant for research activities in reading.

Tracie Norris, Arkansas State University

Tracie Norris, DPT taught in the public school system for many years before returning to school to complete a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. She is currently working as a physical therapist in Arkansas.



How to Cite

Keith, B., Sloas, S., Mooney, M., & Norris, T. (2014). Readability of PTA Textbooks and Reading Comprehension Rates of PTA Students. IARTEM E-Journal, 6(1), 37-47.