Data from the US Department of Health and Human Services National Assessment of Adult Literacy estimates that approximately 77 million Americans are currently at risk for low health literacy.
From a refugee family who arrives to a health care visit with minimal English speaking skills to an English speaking family attempting to understand a multi-medication asthma regimen for a loved one, navigating the jargon and technology within the health care system can be both challenging and frustrating for families.
A lacking of health literacy, or understanding about one’s health, can lead to potentially devastating effects including but not limited to poor access to health care, prolonged uncomfortable symptoms, delayed diagnoses, and unanticipated hospital readmissions. Additionally, low health literacy affects people of all ages and all stages of life.
When was the last time that you sat down with your loved ones and talked about health literacy, literally? Skills such as reading a pamphlet or calculating a medication dose aren’t always easy. Feelings such as fear or sadness can also impact health care actions and decisions. Communication and comprehension represent key components in promoting health and wellness.
Tune into Healthcetera Radio on Thursday, November 24th as Senior Fellow Kristi Westphaln interviews health literacy scholar and health policy expert, Dr. Eileen Fry-Bowers. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Fry-Bowers holds a degree in law from Whittier Law School, a PhD from the UCLA School of Nursing, and she currently serves as faculty at the Hahn school of Nursing and Health Science at the University of San Diego.
The holidays are right around the corner. Take a few minutes to learn how you can bring tidings of health literacy to your friends and family. Dr. Fry-Bowers demystifies health literacy as she defines it, provides strategies for enhancing health literacy, and explains the important Ask Me 3 questions that you should ask your health care provider at every check up.
Give the gift of health this year by boosting your family health literacy and tune into Healthcetera radio.
You can listen to the interview here on iTunes