Health Literacy: Improving Quality of Care in Primary Care Settings
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Good patient-clinician communication, where patients are able to understand the health information and treatment recommendations they receive and feel comfortable enough to ask questions or admit when they do not understand something, is vital to the successful management of a chronic illness. However, achieving this ideal level of communication is difficult due to individual and cultural differences in the way patients understand health concepts, view their role in their own health care, and how they view the role of clinicians. Patient-clinician communication is an umbrella under which different facets of the patient-clinician relationship, such as health literacy, culture and communication, rest. Communication, verbal, non-verbal, or written, must be sensitive to patients' language proficiency and reading ability and should be examined within the context of a patient's culture. Understanding the issues of health literacy, culture, and communication and its implications is a lynch pin to improving patient and clinician communication, quality care, and self-management of chronic health conditions.
Barrett, Sharon E. and Puryear, Jennifer Sheen, "Health Literacy: Improving Quality of Care in Primary Care Settings" (2006). School of Community Health & Policy. 16.