Archive for July, 2011

Health Literacy

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

In a New York Times “Well” column, Danielle Ofri, M.D., writes:

“Patients routinely juggle 7 to 10 medications, many of which change at each visit. And a low level of health literacy, which the national report Healthy People 2010 defines as ‘the capacity to obtain, process and understand the basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions,’ is surprisingly common among older adults. It is especially common in those who have the most diseases and the fewest resources…. Most patients don’t offer up that they have low health literacy – let alone the fact that they can’t actually read. Many expend great effort to compensate or hide it. Nevertheless, it is a powerful detriment to good health, and we in the medical world need to be on the lookout for it.”

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