- Low literacy refers to a person’s incapacity to learn, write, and comprehend written or spoken language at a useful degree. It is crucial for healthcare professionals to know low literacy as a result of it might probably considerably affect a affected person’s capability to know and cling to healthcare directions, similar to medicine dosages or remedy plans. Low literacy can also be related to poor well being outcomes, similar to elevated hospitalization charges and decreased preventative care utilization (Davis et al., 2002). As healthcare professionals, it’s our accountability to speak clearly and successfully with all sufferers, no matter their literacy degree, to make sure they obtain the very best care.
- Tradition may cause boundaries of communication with sufferers with low literacy in varied methods:
a) Language boundaries: Sufferers might have restricted English proficiency or converse a special language altogether. To beat this barrier, healthcare professionals can use interpreters, translate written supplies, or use bilingual employees members to facilitate communication.
b) Well being literacy: Sufferers from totally different cultures might have totally different ranges of well being literacy, which means their capability to know and use well being info could also be restricted. To beat this barrier, healthcare professionals can use plain language, which entails simplifying medical terminology and utilizing on a regular basis language to elucidate healthcare ideas.
c) Cultural beliefs and practices: Sufferers might have totally different beliefs and practices associated to healthcare that may have an effect on their understanding and adherence to medical directions. To beat this barrier, healthcare professionals ought to respect and incorporate cultural beliefs and practices into their communication and remedy plans. They will additionally use visible aids and hands-on demonstrations to assist sufferers perceive medical procedures.
In conclusion, low literacy can considerably affect a affected person’s capability to know and cling to healthcare directions, which might result in poor well being outcomes. Healthcare professionals should perceive the assorted methods through which tradition may cause communication boundaries with sufferers with low literacy and take acceptable steps to beat these boundaries, similar to utilizing plain language, incorporating cultural beliefs and practices, and utilizing visible aids.
Davis, T. C., Wolf, M. S., Bass, P. F., Middlebrooks, M., Kennen, E., Baker, D. W., & Bennett, C. L. (2002). Low literacy impairs comprehension of prescription drug warning labels. Journal of basic inside medication, 17(10), 827-830.