A healthcare disparity is a limitation of healthcare availability, usually among a certain racial or socioeconomic demographic (Black, 2013). However, there are disparities that don’t have a specific demographic and affect the entirety of the United States, which are potentially most detrimental to the overall health of our country. One of those disparities is health literacy, or the exchange of complex information from the healthcare provider to the patient or client (Black, 2013). The lack of health literacy in America poses as a problem, especially with the chronically ill. Without proper knowledge of how to treat their illness and what to do when the disease process worsens or ameliorates can potentially cause millions of unnecessary hospitalizations,
Health literacy has been demarcated as the measurement of the individual’s capacity to obtain, understand and process simple health information. It is needed to make satisfactory health decisions and determine services needed to treat or prevent illness. Health literacy requires knowledge from many topics, comprising the patient’s own body, appropriate conducts towards healthy results and the difficulties to understand the health system. It is influenced by many conditions such as our communication skills, age, socio-economic status, and cultural background, past experiences, educational level and mental health status (U.S. Department of
Low literacy affects many individuals within today’s society. The amount of individuals that are unable to comprehend medication labels, medication regimens, and learning points from discharge teaching is shocking and result in further health related injuries (Koh et al., 2012). Nurses must take the important task of recognizing an individual literacy and comprehension ability before planning the individual’s care plan. The nurse must find out the ways an individual can receive information that
Health literacy has been a problem with our patients. The most vulnerable populations are the elderly, people with low-income levels, those with limited education, non-native speakers of English, those with chronic mental and physical health conditions, minority, and immigrant populations. Nurses have a great role in helping our patients succeed in understanding their health conditions. Nurses can be of great help in promoting health literacy. Sykes, Wills, Rowlands and Popple (2013) defined health literacy as the ability of individuals to access, understand, appraise, and apply health information. The three domains of health literacy, according to Bennett and Perkins (2012) as adapted from the (WHO) (1998) are functional health literacy, interactive literacy, and critical health literacy. Functional health literacy is basic reading and writing skills to be able to function effectively in a health context. Interactive health literacy is the used of more advanced cognitive and literacy skills to participate in health care. Critical health literacy is the ability to analyze critically and to use information to participate in action, to overcome structural barriers to health (p.14). The U.S. Department of Education published the findings of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy conducted in 2003. The result showed that 36 % of adults have basic or below-basic skills for dealing with health material, 52 %
A big problem today in health care for many people is health literacy. Health literacy is when a person is able to understand and process medical information they are given. Having low health literacy can affect how a person understands, and uses information about their health and health services (Batterham 2016). Low health literacy rates lead to big issues in communication. Limited literacy impacts health behaviors, decisions, and ultimately outcomes. Many people have low health literacy which leads to bad health outcomes. Research shows that low literacy is linked with the lower likelihood of people being able to manage their own health conditions, and less access to health care services which can lead to poor health outcomes. There are many reasons people have low health literacy, A lack of formal education and poor reading ability aren't the only causes of low health literacy. Low health literacy is associated with a number of things like poor engagement in health services, health knowledge, and overall health status. People with low health literacy may feel ashamed and try to hide it from professionals and family members. Most health care professionals are unaware of the level of health literacy their patient has. (Greenhalgh 2015) There is a need to identify individual health literacy needs and address how to work on solutions to benefit them and whole groups of people. Differences in health literacy
Sequist, Cullen, and Acton explain, “American Indians have nearly three times the national unemployment rate, and are less than half as likely to graduate from college” (2011, pp. 1967). With the low education levels that are common amongst this racial group, health care facilities need to make sure they are providing materials and teachings with appropriate fundamental literacy levels. In the book Advancing Health Literacy written by Zarcadoolas, Pleasant, and Greer, the authors describe fundamental literacy as, “The ability to read, write, speak, and work with numbers” (2006, pp. 56-57). As nurses, we need to be aware of others’ fundamental literacy to provide them with a sense of autonomy. If they are able to understand the materials they are reading, then they are able to make confident decisions about their care. In the nursing field, we provide many informational brochures, and are responsible for making sure our patients understand the plan of care. The text provided for our clients should be at an eighth-grade level, or personalized to each patient’s level. Nurses need to make sure they are conversing and explaining with no medical jargon, and allowing time for questions from the
Literacy is the ability to read and write, and it is based on different competency of individuals. Health literacy is a term that has been used in health literature for more than 35 years. In the United States, health literacy is used to explicate and describe the correlation between patient literacy levels and their ability to adhere with prescribed therapeutic regimens (Ad Hoc Committee on Health Literacy, 1999). Likewise, health literacy is also defined as the grade to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions (IOM, 2004) (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2000). Health literacy is also influenced by individual literacy skills and individual capacities (Baker, Gazmararian, Sudano & Patterson, 2000). This study is important due to the high number of patients with difficulty interpreting and understanding common prescription drug labelled instructions. It can be inferred that
“Health Literacy” a term to define literacy in healthcare. “An estimated 90 million people in the U.S. have difficulties understanding and using health information” (Hawkins, Kantayya and Sharkey-Asner, 2010). Low health literacy poses public health risks due to groups of people not being able to adequately care for themselves and stay healthy. This paper argues the importance of literacy as it pertains to health and also explores the various types of literacy that can impact how health information is received and understood from the general public.
Background: Health literacy presents a huge challenge in the delivery of effective healthcare and quality outcomes. We evaluated association between low health literacy and healthcare utilization.
Health Literacy is lacking not only in the less education patients but it also lacks in people who can read and write well. This is because day-to-day reading and writing skills are different from the health care related reading and writing skills. There might be many reasons like: people are not exposed to the medical terms, they might not know how to read the statistics and evaluate the documents based on those statistics. They might be in a shock or be
Lambert, V., & Keogh, D. (2014). Health literacy and its importance for effective communication. Part 2. Nursing Children & Young People, 26(4), 32-36. doi:10.7748/ncyp2014.05.26.4.32.e387http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy.devry.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=2012573600&site=ehost-live
Health literacy is defined as "The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions" (Michael K. Paasche-Orlow, 2010), the word Health literacy first appeared in 1974 in a paper which calls for “education standards for all grade school levels in USA” (Carolyn Speros, 2004) . Some recent works suggest that there is a relation between literacy, low health and premature deaths (Christina Zarcadoolas et al, 2005).
Healthy People 2010 define health literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health care related decisions.” These are the skills that people need to find the right place in the hospital, fill out insurance forms, and communicate appropriately with
Health literacy is an essential determinant of health. Health literacy is the degree in which people have the ability to obtain process and understand fundamental health services and information in order to make informed health decisions throughout different phases of life. Patients who are better educated and informed about their options and who understand the evidence behind certain methodologies may have better health outcomes. On the other hand, low health literacy leads to many health problems. In fact, it seems to be the “single biggest cause of poor health outcomes” (Kickbusch 208). Low health literacy inhibits self-advocacy in health care settings. Patients with limited literacy cannot actively participate in health-related decisions
Communication in nursing is an essential skill which allows nurses to capably deliver effective and efficient care. Nurses being providers of health care must be able to recognise and prevent barriers that may occur throughout the communication process as their job is to primarily interact with patients in a culturally diverse workplace (Dwyer, 2012). Barriers such as health illiteracy and poor communication play an important role on the care that is delivered by nurses and other health care providers. In 2006 an adult literacy and life skills survey was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), information collected from the survey had shown that 59% of the Australian adult population displayed low health literacy skills. This high figure indicates that nearly 6 out of 10 Australians over the age of eighteen may not be able to make appropriate