Visual Causal Models Enhance Clinical Explanations of Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder – 2013 [US]
A daily challenge in clinical practice is to adequately explain disorders and treatments to patients of varying levels of literacy in a time-limited situation. This study, by Kim et al (2013), examined the value of using visual aids to help patients understand their condition and make decisions about their treatment options . Kim et al found that patients learned significantly more from consultations involving visual aids. Significant relative gains were recorded in patient comprehension immediately after the clinical session, at a time when the authors suggest that patients may be most willing to begin the recommended treatment plan. This article was published in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. Special Issue: Promoting Health Literacy Research to Advance the Field (Volume 18, Supplement 1, 2013).
Archive of Webinar: Why do we give patients numbers? Making health data make sense – 2013 [US]
This is an archived copy of a webinar run by Surround Health (October 15, 2013) on the topic of patients and health numeracy. Every day patients face numbers - reading electronic health records (EHRs), risk information, nutrition labels, navigating through the health insurance marketplace, and more. But, can they derive meaning from the numbers to manage their health? This webinar explores how to communicate quantitative information to patients for decision making. Topics covered include: Why information evaluability is what really matters, how best to communicate risk, how to convey numbers in a format and context that matches patients’ specific need. Presenter: Brian J. Zikmund- Fisher (University of Michigan, School of Public Health). Duration: 1 hour.
How the stigma of low literacy can impair patient-professional spoken interactions and affect health: insights from a qualitative investigation – 2013 [UK]
Easton et al (2013) interviewed adults with low literacy about their perspectives on access to health care services, self-management of health conditions and health behaviours. Participants reported various difficulties during consultations which had negatively impacted on their broader health care experiences and ability manage their own health conditions. Easton et al (2013) found that low-literacy-related stigma can seriously impair spoken interactions with health professionals and lessen the potential benefits of health services. Health policies increasingly emphasis the need for patients' participation in their own health care. Health professionals therefore need to simplify the literacy requirements of service use and offer non-judgmental (universal) literacy-sensitive support to promote positive healthcare experiences and outcomes.
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.