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3 weeks ago
Describe how illiteracy impacts patient care.
Textbook 
Professionalism in Health Care
Edition: 5th
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Posts: 228
3 weeks ago
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A significant number of adult patients do not have the literacy (reading and writing) skills required to communicate effectively with their caregivers and understand the medical instructions and information they are given. Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions to prevent or treat illness. Patient education materials are available mostly in print and are written at a 10th-grade or higher reading level. This means that millions of Americans struggle to understand the information they are given and apply it correctly. Patients have a limited knowledge of medicine and health care to begin with, and medical language can be especially confusing. Problems occur when patients must read and follow medication instructions, share their medical histories, prepare for exams and treatments, manage chronic conditions, and provide follow-up self-care in a safe and effective manner. Concerns arise when patients must complete medical applications, sign consent forms, review insurance claims, and show up prepared for doctors' appointments.
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