Health Literacy in Primary Care Practice.

Abstract:

:Health literacy includes a set of skills needed to make appropriate health decisions and successfully navigate the health care system. These skills include reading, writing, numeracy, communication, and, increasingly, the use of electronic technology. National data indicate that more than one-third of U.S. adults have limited health literacy, which contributes to poor health outcomes and affects patient safety, and health care access and quality. Although there are a number of tools that screen for limited health literacy, they are primarily used for research. Routinely screening patients for health literacy has not been shown to improve outcomes and is not recommended. Instead, multiple professional organizations recommend using universal health literacy precautions to provide understandable and accessible information to all patients, regardless of their literacy or education levels. This includes avoiding medical jargon, breaking down information or instructions into small concrete steps, limiting the focus of a visit to three key points or tasks, and assessing for comprehension. Additionally, printed information should be written at or below a fifth- to sixth-grade reading level. Visual aids, graphs, or pictures can enhance patient understanding, as can more concrete presentation of numerical information.

journal_name

Am Fam Physician

authors

Hersh L,Salzman B,Snyderman D

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2015-07-15 00:00:00

pages

118-24

issue

2

eissn

0002-838X

issn

1532-0650

pii

d12016

journal_volume

92

pub_type

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