Archive for the ‘Health Literacy’ Category
The MEDLINE/PubMed Search and Health Literacy Information Resources page and its preformulated Health Literacy Special Query have been updated to keep pace with the growing body of relevant literature. The Health Literacy Special Query now retrieves additional citations to articles about numeracy, comprehension of informed consent, and health insurance comprehension. The dynamic MEDLINE/PubMed health literacy search retrieves more than 8,000 citations to English language journal articles related to Health Literacy. PubMed filters can be used to limit to particular years, research or publication types. To limit citations to a particular subject (such as “decision making”) use the Advanced Search features.
Sometimes called Quantitative Literacy (QL) or Quantitative Reasoning (QR), numeracy involves skills needed to select a health insurance plan, choose treatments, and understand medication instructions. MEDLINE/PubMed may contain citations to articles that discuss numeracy skills of clinicians—physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who must communicate with patients and the public. Informed consent comprehension is of great interest to health literacy advocates and researchers who are concerned with how effectively health care providers communicate disease and treatment risks and benefits to patients. Among the more than 16,000 citations to articles with Informed Consent as a major descriptor, many citations don’t explicitly use the phrase “health literacy,” but are conceptually tied to it.
The selected resources on the right side of the MEDLINE/PubMed Search and Health Literacy Information Resources page includes new links, such as:
Only 1 in 10 U.S. adults are considered proficient in health literacy, or the ability to understand and use the healthcare system. Attend the Annual Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) Health Literacy Conference, May 6-8, at the Hotel Irvine, near Orange County airport, and learn ways in which you can ensure your clients understand and have good health literacy. Register by the early bird deadline of April 10 and use Discount Code NNLM15 to save $20 off your conference tuition. Registration includes breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday, May 7-8, up to 21 continuing education credits, lunch on Wednesday, May 6, and more. Special preconference sessions on Wednesday include train-the-trainer sessions for health insurance enrollers to learn OERU best practices (Outreach, Enrollment, Retention and Utilization) and a consumer-facing curriculum on “Your Health Insurance – How It Works and How to Use It.”
The Winter 2015 issue of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine features information on healthy aging with Go4Life, living with Alzheimer’s disease, finding good health information on the Internet, atrial fibrillation, and treating alcohol problems. The cover features Howie Mandel, a host, performer, and producer, who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib). He discusses his involvement with the National Stroke Association’s Fibs or Facts campaign that raises awareness about AFib and its increased risk for stroke.
The magazine also recaps the Science Pathfinders at NLM/NIH event on September 26, 2014, where more than 500 middle and high school students at public and private schools in Maryland and the District of Columbia visited the NIH campus in Bethesda to hear presentations from top scientists and medical doctors on the latest advances in medical research. This issue’s HealthLine describes the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and and the Pharmaceuticals division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) small phase 1 clinical trial of the experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease.
NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is the free, trusted consumer guide to the vast array of authoritative online health and medical information at MedlinePlus. Published four times a year, the magazine showcases the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) latest medical research and healthcare information. NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is freely available as a print subscription, e-mail alerts, and online.
According to recent studies, and despite new private insurance coverage over the past year, many people do not understand the very terms and concepts necessary to make informed choices. A new Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit, Health Literacy and Health Insurance Literacy: Do Consumers Know What they are Buying? addresses the extent and significance of both health literacy and health insurance literacy for Americans buying and using health insurance.
A few highlights from the Toolkit:
- Nearly nine out of ten adults have difficulty using health information to make informed decisions about their health.
- Half of Americans don’t understand such basic health insurance terms as premium, deductible and copay.
- Thirty-seven percent of marketplace enrollees did not know their deductible, and 47% of those receiving subsidies did not know the amount of federal assistance they were getting.
- The cost of low health literacy in the United States currently represents between 7% and 17% of all personal health care expenditures.
Contents of the Toolkit include:
- An overview of problems associated with health literacy as well as studies analyzing their impact.
- Links to reports and news articles explaining and analyzing the issue.
- Contact information for leading experts on the issue.
The National Library of Medicine’s Refugee Health Information Network (RHIN) resource was a national collaborative partnership with the principal focus of creating and making available a database of quality multilingual/multicultural, public health resources to professionals providing care to resettled refugees and asylees. In October, 2014, NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) broadened the scope of RHIN by rebranding it HealthReach. This was done to better meet the needs of the diverse non-English and English as a second language speaking audiences. HealthReach continues to recognize the importance of providing refugee and asylee specific information while expanding the information provided to meet the needs of most immigrant populations. Over the next several months new resources will be added to the web site. There is also a new Twitter feed, @NLM_HealthReach. There isn’t much change between the old RHIN and the new HealthReach; this was intentional to help with the continuity of service through the transition.
From Coverage to Care (C2C) is an initiative from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to help people with new health coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. C2C resources, available in both English and Spanish, are now available to download and print.
Available resources include:
- A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You (Una Guía para Un Mejor Cuidado y Una Vida Más Saludable) that includes 8 steps to explain what health coverage is, and how to use it to get needed care.
- Consumer tools including a sample insurance card and a sample explanation of benefits.
- An 11-part video series that helps explain the information covered in the Roadmap.
To learn when new resources become available, sign up for notifications through the Minority Health listserv. From Coverage to Care materials are also available through the order page.
The Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Baltimore, has announced the release of the Student Health Advocates Redefining Empowerment (SHARE) Curriculum, developed as the result of a three-year Health Information Resource Grant to Reduce Health Disparities (G08LM0011079) from the National Library of Medicine. The grant aimed to empower high school students as community health advocates, improve health in Baltimore neighborhoods, and develop a replicable student health advocacy program. The entire curriculum consists of six modules. Each module can be used independently as well. The modules are:
- Overview of Health Disparities
- Quality Health Information
- Taking Charge of Your Health
- Smart Food Choices
- Crafting and Delivering the Message
- Promoting Health and Wellness in Your Community
These modules were developed after working with two cohorts of students from Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy in Baltimore. In addition to detailed lesson plans, each class has assignments and handouts and is aligned with national standards. Supplemental activities are also provided. In order to build a community around the curriculum, a blog is available to share ideas and suggestions and discuss the curriculum. For more information, please contact Project SHARE.
Enrollment is now available for the Health Literacy Leadership Institute, June 9-13, 2014, offered through the Health Communication Program at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. This one-week Institute is designed for professionals committed to improving the health literacy of healthcare providers and the public. Those working in health literacy and students interested in pursuing careers in health literacy are encouraged to attend.
Participants learn from faculty and guest instructors highly regarded for their pioneering work in medical education, adult literacy, and program evaluation. Peer learning and the sharing of research and best practice are central to the Institute’s educational approach. During the course of the week, participants work on a health literacy project of their choice resulting in a final product that is current, comprehensive, informed by research, and reflective of best practice.
The Journal of General Internal Medicine published a commentary this month, “Physicians’ Roles in Creating Health Literate Organizations: A Call to Action,” that gives physicians guidance on their role in implementing health literate health care organizations. Physicians’ responsibilities to address health literacy are not restricted to improving the clinical encounter, declared authors Cindy Brach, Benard Dreyer, and Dean Schillinger. For health care organizations to become health literate, physicians must also be willing to serve as health literacy champions.
The authors detail actions physicians can take to implement each of the Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations, as described in an Institute of Medicine discussion paper by Brach, et al, published in 2012. The article also points readers to the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit to help physicians lead their practices in implementing health literacy universal precautions.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has just released a new tool to help professionals choose more understandable and actionable materials; the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). Patient educational materials, such as brochures, medical instructions, and audiovisual aids, are often complex and lack clear information about what the patient should do. AHRQ’s PEMAT and User’s Guide provides a systematic method to evaluate and compare the understandability and actionability of patient education materials. By selecting health materials that score better on the PEMAT, you can be more confident that people of varying levels of health literacy will be able to process and explain key messages, and identify what they can do based on the information presented.
Additional tools for improving health literacy are available from AHRQ’s website, including: