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Health Literacy Skills

Decent Essays
Historically, all over the world and even here in the United States, poor adherence to medical treatment has become a national problem and the main cause for this is low health literacy and reading skills. Overtime the communication between healthcare providers and patients has fundamentally become problematic. Healthcare providers often communicate using more medical terminology than patients can process, because patients are often preoccupied with their symptoms, which makes concentration more difficult. Although people at all literacy levels have difficulty understanding and using medical terminology, people with limited literacy skills are specifically in need of assistance. They often need help in understanding written information and…show more content…
Health literacy in not solely based on an individual’s ability to read; it is their ability to read, listen, and analyze health information and then apply that information to make complex health care decisions. Health literacy has been so strongly linked to disease understanding, treatment adherence, and health outcomes that recommendations suggest that health literacy should be assessed routinely when working with patients, especially those who are infected with chronic diseases. Health literacy impacts patient outcomes at three critical stages: access to health care, interaction between patient and health care provider, and self-care. Low health literacy has been linked to inadequate engagement in care and may serve as a contributor to poor health outcomes among people living with chronic and acute health conditions. Patients with basic or low health literacy skills do not have the ability to perform even the simplest of those tasks, nor are they able to provide information as to why and when certain illnesses might need to have a specified…show more content…
Numerous studies have shown that medication adherence is a critical issue because poor rates of adherence can lead to unsuccessful viral suppression, resistance to medication, opportunistic infections, overall poor health, decreased quality of life, and potentially death. Previous researchers also, suggested that limited health literacy is related to a greater number of occurrences of medication non-adherence in the health care setting. Medication adherence and disease understanding increase when patients receive information regarding their treatment plan that is tailored to their specific need. When patients have answers to specific questions and that information is provided in a way that is easy for them to understand, they are more likely to comply with their medication regimen. Nevertheless, tailored health information needs a greater investment of time and effort than general health information. To save time, healthcare providers are more likely to provide the same health information to all patients with the same disease, regardless of their health literacy or primary language. It is essential for there to be an effective exchange of information between patients and healthcare providers during regular visit or emergency room discharge, as it affects health care costs and mortality rates. While health literacy has been widely
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