CDC Clear Communication Index: User Guide

Date of Review: January, 2020

This resource describes the CDC Clear Communication Index, a tool to support development and assessment of clear communications that are easily understood by patients and the public. In addition to including common-sense recommendations about things like language and formatting of your main message, presenting scientific findings, and presenting risk data, the index also includes a 20-point checklist that can be used to develop high-quality, clear materials. For those who want to do so, the index additionally allows for measurement and scoring the extent to which a material represents clear communications (0-100 score; 90 or higher is passing). Though originally developed to support internal efforts at the CDC, the index is also designed to support the work of other audiences such as clinicians and public health professionals. While this resource is not a tool that seeks to explicitly to educate audiences about SDOH or how to meet patients’ social/economic needs, it can be a valuable tool for those who work with high-need or vulnerable populations. — Dave Liss, PhD, NCEAS