Caring for Patients with Limited Health Literacy. October 2011 Author in the Room Teleconference [US]
In this teleconference Michael Paasche-Orlow (2011) discusses some of the findings of his research article on improving the care of patients with limited health literacy. These findings include the need to remove unneeded complexity in treatment regimens and in the health care system and using teach-back methods to assess and improve patient understanding. Michael Paasche-Orlow (2011) concludes that a patient-based universal precaution approach for confirming patient comprehension of critical self-care activities can help ensure that all patients have their health literacy needs identified. This teleconference is part of the Institute for Health Care Improvement’s Author in the Room series.
Caring for Patients with Limited Health Literacy [US]
Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand health information, skills, and services needed to make informed health decisions and take informed actions. Narratives from Mr J, a 76-year-old man with multiple medical problems and limited health literacy, and his physician exhibit some of the difficulties experienced by patients with limited health literacy. Clinicians can help patients with limited health literacy by removing unneeded complexity in their treatment regimens and in the health care system and by using teach-back methods to assess and improve understanding. Rather than a selective screening approach for limited health literacy, a patient-based universal precaution approach for confirming patient comprehension of critical self-care activities helps ensure that all patients have their health literacy needs identified.
Low-Literacy Interventions to Promote Discussion of Prostate Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Professional organisations recommend that physicians discuss prostate cancer with patients to make individual screening decisions. However, few studies have tested strategies to encourage such discussions, particularly among high-risk populations. Kripalani et al (2007) examined the effects of two low-literacy interventions on the frequency of prostate cancer discussion and screening. It was found that two simple low-literacy interventions significantly increased discussion of prostate cancer and prostate specific antigen test orders, but not performance of digital rectal examinations. Both interventions were effective in empowering low-literacy patients to initiate conversations about prostate cancer with their physician.
Literacy Education as Treatment for Depression in Patients with Limited Literacy and Depression
This article by Weiss et al (2006) describes a study to determine whether literacy education, provided along with standard depression treatment to adults with depression and limited literacy, would result in greater improvement in depression than would standard depression treatment alone.
Picture Stories for Adult ESL Health Literacy
This resource is provided by Fairfax County Public Schools in the United States, and is designed to help ESOL instructors address topics that affect the health and well-being of their students. Picture stories use a paneled comic-style layout, cartoon characters, and minimal words to help entice students to ask appropriate questions and instructors to relay the correct information in a meaningful way.
Communicating Risks and Benefits: An evidence-Based User’s Guide
Risk communication is the term used for situations when people need good information to make sound choices. This could involve recalls, confusing medication instructions, and in the worst case scenario, information in a disaster situation such as the Canterbury earthquake. Risk is a critical aspect of health literacy. This comprehensive report from the US FDA covers not only health literacy but also quantitative and qualitative information and how health professionals communicate risk benefit information. 235 pages.
Physician Ed: Using Health Literacy to Improve Patient Care and Outcomes
Discovery Channel video on "Using Health Literacy to Improve Patient Care and Outcomes". United States centric.
AHRQ Patient Question Sheet
A question sheet for helping patients effectively communicate with their doctors. Produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Also see: Be More Involved in Your Healthcare: Tips for Patients and AHRQ Question Builder – resource for patients
Having the conversation – Smoking Intervention Series
This resource provides excellent tips for starting conversations to avoid coming across patronising or judegmental. Asking someone about their smoking habits and whether they want to quit can be a daunting concept - we worry it will be an unwelcome intrusion into someone's private space, or come across as patronising or judgmental. The Ministry of Health, along with input from various health professionals, have put together the following document on 'having the conversation', which provides tips on how to start the conversation.
The Health Literacy Project: Phases 1-3
In 2000, a joint health literacy initiative of The Centre for Literacy of Quebec and the Department of Nursing of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) began studying the complex combinations of factors involved with literacy and health and attempting to identify how various specific barriers to patient communication can be recognized and addressed. The qualitative study was with patients who had been identified by nurses as "hard-to-reach," and provides interesting discussions about oral communication with such patients (by addressing their health literacy needs).