Patient education

Teaching patients, caregivers, and others about health.

Legislation Giving Voice to Patients and Families (HLOL #47)

Deborah Wachenheim is the Health Quality Manager at Health Care for All (HCFA) in Boston, MA. The mission of HCFA is to create a consumer-centered healthcare system that works for everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable.

HCFA’s Consumer Health Quality Council drafted legislation that was recently enacted to establish Patient and Family Advisory Councils at all hospitals in Massachusetts. In this podcast, Wachenheim talks about the process of making this happen.

Topics include:

  • Patient and family advisory councils. What they are, how they help, and who they include.
  • Process of drafting and enacting a new statewide law.
  • Lessons learned about patient councils and the legislative process.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 27, 30, 40.

Universal Design and Health Communication (HLOL #46)

Valerie Fletcher is Executive Director of the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) —a non-profit international educational and design company based in Boston, MA. In this work, she oversees a wide range of projects focused on making the world and the web inclusive and accessible to all.

Valerie started as a textile designer, creating clothing for women as they age. She now applies design principles to physical spaces as well as to communication, information, policies, and attitudes. Valerie’s focus is international, serving as an advisor to the Singapore government as well as to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What is universal design? How does it apply to health communication?
  • How universal design helps people of all functional limitations, not just those with disabilities.
  • Practical strategies to improve health communication in person, in print, and on the web.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Valerie Fletcher is the Executive Director of the Institute for Human-Centered Design in Boston, MA. You can email her directly at vfletcher@HumanCenteredDesign.org
  • Institute for Human-Centered Design, www.humancentereddesign.org
  • Bright, Keith and Geoffrey Cook. The Colour, Light and Contrast Manual: Designing and Managing Inclusive Built Environments. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
  • Keates, Simeon and Clarkson, J. Countering Design Exclusion: An Introduction to Inclusive Design.  London: Springer – Verlag, 2003.
  • Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2002.
  • Preiser, Wolfgang, Editor in Chief; Korydon Smith, Senior Editor. Universal Design Handbook, 2nd Edition. Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill, 2010.
  • Osborne H, “In Other Words…Communicating Across a Life Span…Universal Design in Print and Web-based Communication, On Call magazine, January 2001. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3812
  • World Wide Web Accessibility Initiative, http://www.w3.org/WAI/

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 4, 10, 37.

Read a transcript of this podcast. 

Interactive Multimedia in Health Education (HLOL #45)

Karen Baker is Senior Vice President for Consumer Experience at Healthwise–a non-profit health communications company based in Boise, Idaho. As a team, Healthwise developed an interactive multimedia educational series called “Conversations.”

“Conversation on Dealing With Low Back Pain” recently received a top award for outstanding communication from the Center for Plain Language. Baker talks about the process that Healthwise used to develop, test, and implement this interactive, innovative educational tool.

Topics include:

  • How interactive multimedia can help people learn about their health.
  • Communicating important messages with metaphors, characterization, graphics, humor, and other creative strategies.
  • Working as a team to create, test, and implement innovative projects.
  • Lessons learned that listeners can use in day-to-day practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 9, 28, 36.

Health Communication from a Native American Perspective (HLOL #44)

Linda Burhansstipanov MSPH, DrPH (or as many people say, “Linda B”) is of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She has worked in public health for many years, taught at several universities, and is involved with a lot of research including the NIH funded projects, “Native American Cancer Education for Survivors” and “Native Navigators and the Cancer Continuum.”

Linda B created and oversees the Native American Cancer Research website which is used not only by Native Americans but also by people from around the world. Linda is the author of nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles and advises many healthcare organizations about issues affecting Native Americans.

In this podcast, Linda B talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Native American concerns related to health and cancer
  • Communication strategies including stories, metaphors, and pictures
  • Creating a website with a strong cultural identity
  • Lessons learned that health communicators can use with all audiences

More Ways to Learn:

  • You can email Linda B at LindaB@natamcancer.net. But please know that it may take her a few days to reply as she may be in areas with no Internet connection.
  • Native American Cancer Research Website, available at www.natamcancer.org

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 6, 18, 25, 27, 31, 32.

Press Ganey’s CEO Talks about Analyzing Sentiments to Improve Healthcare Quality (HLOL #43)

Rick Siegrist is the CEO of Press Ganey – a worldwide company that helps more than 10,000 healthcare organizations measure and improve the quality of their care. For many years, Press Ganey learned about the patient experience mostly through satisfaction surveys. Now it is learning even more by analyzing the sentiments (comments) that patients write on these surveys.

Looking at satisfaction data along with patients’ sentiments is proving to be an effective way of understanding many aspects of the patient’s experience, including health communication.

In this podcast, Rick Siegrist talks about:

  • Using satisfaction surveys to learn about and improve healthcare quality.
  • Analyzing sentiments – a way to translate human emotion into hard data.
  • Bridging sentiments, satisfaction and health communication in your practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 4, 6, 27.

Health Literacy from a Literacy Perspective (HLOL #41)

John Comings EdD is Principal International Technical Advisor at the Education Development Center in Newton, MA. Prior to this, he was Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) and a member of the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Comings’s research and writing focuses on the impact of adult literacy programs and factors that predict persistence of adult education students in the U.S. and Third World countries. In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The literacy part of health literacy, including components of reading skills
  • The health part of health literacy, including functional skills within health contexts
  • Practical literacy strategies that health professionals can use today
  • Ways the health system can collaborate with the adult literacy system

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 21, 27.

Assessing Readability in the European Union (HLOL #40)

Mark Gibson MA is a Consumer Information Specialist based in Leeds, England. He is a linguist, translator, and journalist who now focuses on readability testing and information design. Building on his research in patient communication, Mark designs information that is appropriate for diverse audiences – including those with limited English proficiency, low literacy skills, and sight loss.

In this podcast he compares and contrasts ways to assess readability in the European Union (EU) and the United States. Topics include:

  • Assessing readability: How does the system used in the EU compare to that in the United States?
  • EU process of assessing readability: What works well and what does not?
  • Lessons learned and resources that listeners can use right away.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 4, 6, 9, 18, 27, 30.

National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy (HLOL #39)

Cynthia Baur, Ph.D., is the Senior Advisor for Health Literacy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She co-chairs several federal health literacy initiatives, including the workgroup for Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology.

Dr. Baur is the lead author for the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and helped develop CDC’s online health literacy training for health professionals. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about the National Plan to Improve Health LiteracyTopics include:

  • How the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy was developed with input from researchers, practitioners, and community members.
  • Ways individuals and organizations can use this health literacy action plan.
  • A national and international perspective about health literacy.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 27.

Health Numeracy: Helping Patients Understand Numeric Concepts (HLOL #38)

Andrea J. Apter, MD, MA, MSc is a practicing physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her specialty is treating patients diagnosed with asthma. Before she was a doctor, Apter was a math teacher who worked with students from 6th grade on.

Both as a doctor and as a teacher, Apter knows the challenges of communicating numeric concepts in health education. To help, she along with collaborators, have proposed a model to make this task easier for all.

In this podcast, Dr. Apter talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why numeracy matters in healthcare and preventive medicine.
  • Strategies to improve understanding that givers and receivers of health information can use today.
  • Thoughts about long-term solutions & need for health numeracy research.

More ways to learn:

  • Apter AJ et al (2008), “Numeracy and Communication with Patients: They Are Counting on Us,” Journal of General Internal Medicine 23(12):2117-24.
  • Apter AJ et al (2009), “Linking numeracy and asthma-related quality of life,” Patient Education and Counseling 75: 386-391.
  • Apter AJ et al (2006), “Asthma Numeracy Skill and Health Literacy,” Journal of Asthma, 43:705-710.
  • Golbeck AL, Ahlers-Schmidt CR, Paschal AM, and Dismuke SE (2005), “A Definition and Operational Framework for Health Numeracy,” American Journal of Preventative Medicine 29(4):375-376.
  • Osborne H, (2007) “In Other Words…Health Numeracy: How Do Patients Handle the Concept of Quantity When It Relates to Their Health?” On Call Magazine, http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=6509
  • Osborne H, (2004) “In Other Words…Working With Numbers,” On Call Magazinehttp://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3745
  • Osborne H, (2004) Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett. http://www.jblearning.com/catalog/0763745502

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 6, 21, 26.

Read a transcript of this podcast. 

The Healing Power of Humor & Play (HLOL #36)

Izzy Gesell M.ED, CSP knows a lot about the healing power of humor and play. With degrees in psychology and education, Izzy brings energy and joy to all he does – whether he’s working as a special education teacher, a stand-up comic, or an organizational consultant.

Izzy not only is funny in his own right but also teaches others how to use humor and play. He is the author of numerous publications including Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater and Cancer and the Healing Power of Play.

In this podcast, Izzy talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How humor & play can add positive energy, build bridges, and create bonds.
  • Knowing when, and when not, to use humor in health communication.
  • Being humorous, even when you think you’re not funny.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 14, 40, 41.

Talking about Interactive Health Literacy & Oral Communication (HLOL #35)

Donald Rubin, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Speech Communication, of Language & Literacy Education, and of Linguistics at the University of Georgia. He is also senior researcher at that institution’s Center for Health and Risk Communication.

Much of Dr. Rubin’s work focuses on assessment, training, and analysis of oral communication, including listenability. His current research looks at 1) health literacy and health communication message design, 2) public health workforce development in communication to reduce health disparities, and 3) assessment of language proficiency among non-native speakers of English.

In this podcast, Dr. Rubin talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Interactive health literacy. How do written and spoken communication differ?
  • The communication environment. How physical and linguistic aspects affect communication.
  • Older adults. A research study about their distinct communication needs.
  • Practical strategies. How all health professionals can invite patients/consumers to participate verbally in their health care encounters.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 24, 27, 32, 41.

Read a transcript of this podcast. 

Creating Usable, Useful Health Websites for Readers at All Levels (HLOL #34)

Stacy Robison MPH, CHES is co-founder of CommunicateHealth — a consulting company based in Northampton, Massachusetts. As a certified health educator, Stacy uses plain language to meet the learning needs of audiences with limited health literacy skills.

For the past three years, Stacy has been writing and designing health content for Quick Guide to Healthy Living — part of the award-winning healthfinder.gov Web site from the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. This site has been tested and developed with close to 800 Web users, most of whom have limited health literacy skills.

In this podcast, Stacy Robison talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How people with limited literacy skills, health literacy skills, or limited time use online health information.
  • What is different when communicating about wellness and prevention (health promotion) v. communicating about diagnosis and treatment (health care).
  • Ways to design health content so that Web users can, and will, take action.

More ways to learn:

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Teachable Moments: Using Celebrity to Teach About Health (HLOL #32)

Michele Berman, MD is a pediatrician who has practiced in hospitals and pediatric centers across the United States. She also has authored numerous articles, many of them about the practical side of parenting.  But now Dr. Berman is taking on a new role as Managing Partner and Chief Medical Officer of the website, Celebrity Diagnosis.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about ways to make the most of teachable moments and use celebrity news to teach about health.

Topics include:

  • How “teachable moments” provide context for new learning
  • Why and how this website connects celebrity with health
  • Lessons learned that all health communicators can apply

More Ways to Learn:

A Participatory Approach for Communicating with Diverse Audiences (HLOL #31)

Linda Neuhauser, DrPH, is Clinical Professor of Community Health and Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. Her work focuses on translating research into improved health interventions and mass communication. Dr. Neuhauser is especially interested in participatory approaches that meet the literacy, linguistic, and cultural needs of diverse audiences. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the UC Berkeley Health Research for Action Center that uses participatory design to create, implement and evaluate communication initiatives that have now reached over 30 million people.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about participatory and user-centered approaches to health communication.

Topics include:

  • Communication challenges for both givers and receivers of information
  • A structured approach to participatory, user-centered design
  • Overcoming objections of limited time, money, or other resources

More Ways to Learn:

  • Neuhauser L, Rothschild R, Graham C, et al. “Participatory Design of Mass Health Communication in Three Languages for Seniors and People With Disabilities on Medicaid,” American Journal of Public Health. 2009;99 (12).
  • Neuhauser L, Constantine WI, Constantine NA, et al. “Promoting Prenatal and Early Childhood Health: Evaluation of a Statewide Materials-based intervention for Parents. American Journal of Public Health. 2007;97(10):1813-1819.
  • Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast #13: Len & Ceci Doak Discuss Health Literacy’s Past, Present, and Future (includes a discussion of the SAM materials assessment tool), Available at http://www.healthliteracyoutloud.com/2009/03/23/hlol-13-len-ceci-doak-discuss-health-literacy’s-past-present-and-future/

Read a transcript of this podcast 

Applying Adult Education Principles to Medicine & Public Health (HLOL #28)

Dr. Winston Lawrence Winston Lawrence knows a lot about adult literacy education and community health. He works at the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC), a non-profit adult literacy organization providing professional development and technical assistance to the adult literacy community throughout New York City.

In this work, Dr. Lawrence oversees the city-wide implementation of LAC’s Health Literacy Initiative. He trains teachers and health professionals about health literacy principles and strategies. He also facilitates partnerships between literacy agencies and health care institutions.

In this podcast he talks with Helen Osborne about ways to apply adult literacy principles to medicine and public health. Topics include:

  • Why and how a literacy organization got involved with health literacy
  • How teaching practical health literacy skills helps teachers and students alike
  • Ways health literacy partnerships benefit both literacy and health programs
  • Resources to start building health literacy partnerships near you

More Ways to Learn:

Teaching & Singing About Health in South Africa (HLOL #25)

On a recent trip to Indermark (a village in Northern South Africa), I was privileged to talk with a group of community healthcare workers. They shared ways of teaching about health and nutrition. Two workers sang health songs they wrote. In this podcast you will hear them sing these songs in English, Zulu, and the native language Sepedi.

Here are photos of them listening to this recording:
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Why Health Literacy Matters: A Podcast with Many Voices (HLOL #23)

October is Health Literacy Month. This is the 11th year that advocates everywhere are raising awareness about health literacy and ways to improve understanding. This year, we decided to focus on stories – stories about why health literacy matters to healthcare providers, policy makers, researchers, educators, students, patients, families, and all others who care about health.

In this special edition podcast, you will hear five people share their stories about why health literacy matters. I recorded these in May 2009 when I was giving a workshop at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s (or IHA) 8th Annual Health Literacy Conference.

This is the first of two Health Literacy Month podcasts. In this one, you will hear from:

  • Michael Villaire, Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA)
  • Cindy Brach, AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
  • Michael Wolf PhD, Northwestern University
  • Beccah Rothschild, Health Research to Action at UC Berkeley
  • Jutta Ulrich, Health Guide America

More ways to learn:

  • Health Literacy Month website. Thanks to a team of remarkable volunteers and amazing authors, each day in October there are one or more health literacy stories posted at www.healthliteracymonth.org.
  • Health Literacy Out Loud. Hear interviews with those in-the-know about health literacy by going to www.healthliteracymonth.org
  • Health Literacy Consulting. Find out more about Helen Osborne’s work and background by going to www.healthliteracy.com
  • Institute for Healthcare Advancement. Find out about this organization and its upcoming health literacy conference by going to www.iha4health.org

Writing Health Information That Caregivers Can Understand and Providers Will Accept (HLOL #22)

Carol Levine

Carol Levine works at the United Hospital Fund in New York City. There, she directs the Families and Health Care Project which focuses on developing partnerships between health care professionals and family caregivers, especially during transitions in health care settings. You can see this project online at www.nextstepincare.org.

Levine has won numerous awards for her work on health and social policy issues. In 1993, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her work in AIDS policy and ethics. In 2007, she was named a WebMD Health Hero.

In this podcast she talks with Helen Osborne about “Writing health information that caregivers can understand and providers will accept.” Topics include:

  • The growing interest in transitions of care
  • Writing information in ways caregivers can understand
  • Getting buy-in from a cross-section of providers
  • Successes, lessons learned, and recommendations

Age-Related Vision Loss (HLOL #21)

Cynthia StuenCynthia Stuen, PhD/DSW is Senior Vice President for Policy and Evaluation at Lighthouse International, headquartered in New York City. She advocates for policy at the national, state and local level while maintaining involvement in international efforts to preserve sight and prevent excess disability resulting from vision impairment.

Dr. Stuen’s entire career has been in the field of aging and she currently is Chair of the American Society on Aging. She is the author of numerous publications on topics that include age-related sensory loss, access to environments for older adults with impaired vision, and contributions older adults and their family and friends can make to program planning and service delivery.

In this podcast Dr. Stuen talks with Helen Osborne about age-related vision loss. Topics include:

  • The continuum of vision as people age
  • How to know when someone has vision loss (but doesn’t say so)
  • Ways to communicate effectively in print and on the web

More Ways to Learn:

  • Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. Available at http://lighthouse.org
  • Making Text Legible: Designing for People with Partial Sight. Includes guidelines and examples of effective legibility choices for anyone. Available by the Lighthouse International at www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/legible
  • Effective Color Contrast: Designing for People with Partial Sight and Color Deficiencies. Guidelines and specific examples of effective color contrast. Available from Lighthouse International at www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/effective-color-contrast
  • Making Your Web Site Senior Friendly is an informative checklist Web designers can use while creating online material for older adults. Published by the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, it is available at www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/checklist.pdf
  • Making Web Sites More Accessible for Users Who Are Older and/or Have a Disability. Sponsored by the U.S. Administration on aging, this website includes background information on visual disabilities and offers strategies for improving accessibility. Available at www.adrc-tae.org/tiki-index.php?page=TAEIssueBriefs
  • LowBrowseTM is a free add-on extension to the Mozilla Firefox web browser to help people with low vision access the web.  www.lowbrowse.org or email lowbrowse@lighthouse.org.
  • Osborne, H. On Call Magazine, 2000. “In Other Words…When Vision Is an Issue…Communicating With Patients Who Are Visually Impaired” Offers practical tips for designing materials for people with visual challenges. Available at www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3774
  • Worldwide Web Consortium. Available at http://www.w3.org

Selina Maphorogo Talks About Community Health Education in South Africa (HLOL #20)

Selina Maphorogo has been a community health worker in Northern South Africa for many years. She recently retired from the Elim Care Group Project where she worked with health professionals, volunteers, and community leaders to help eradicate the blinding eye disease trachoma.

Selina is recognized for her outstanding work. In 1996, she received the Community Builder of the Year award. In 1997, she was a finalist for the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights.

I first learned about Selina when reading the book, The Community Is My University: A Voice from the Grass Roots on Rural Health and Development. On a recent trip to South Africa, I had the privilege of speaking with her and recording this podcast.

In this podcast she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What trachoma is and how it is passed from one person to another.
  • Strategies to educate a community about disease prevention.
  • Using song, dance, role-play and other ways to teach about health.

 

More Ways to Learn:

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Developing Healthcare Materials With and For Village Health Workers (HLOL #18)

Curt Wands-Bourdoiseau is a physician assistant who has worked in free and community clinics across the United States. He has also trained village health workers in rural, isolated and conflict zones in Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia. Curt now works at the Hesperian Foundation in Berkeley, CA – serving as the project manager for the first major rewrite of the internationally renowned village health worker training book, Where There Is No Doctor.

In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about developing healthcare materials with and for village health workers. Topics include:

  • Overview about the Hesperian Foundation
  • About Hesperian’s books, including Where There Is No Doctor
  • Materials development process using the participatory model
  • Lessons learned and shared with the health literacy community

Ways to Learn More:

Hesperian Foundation (English): http://www.hesperian.org
Hesperian Foundation (Spanish): http://espanol.hesperian.org

Terry Davis Talks About “Baby Steps,” Action Planning (HLOL #16)

Terry C. Davis, Ph.D is a pioneer in the field of health literacy. She is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA (LSUHSC-S), where she also heads the Behavioral Science Unit of the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. She has won awards for her accomplishments and published more than ninety articles and book chapters related to health literacy, health communication, and preventive medicine.

Dr. Davis’s many health literacy accomplishments include: developing the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM); chairing Louisiana’s statewide Health Literacy Task Force; serving as master faculty of the AMA’s Train-the-Trainer Health Literacy Curriculum; and participating as a member of the Healthy People 2010 Health Literacy/Health Communication Section, and the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about helping patients take “baby steps” (action planning). Topics include:

  • What baby steps are and why they are needed in healthcare today
  • How baby steps help in the management of chronic disease
  • Ways to build baby steps into your healthcare practice


Ready, Set, Action Plan
Lorig, Bodenheimer

More ways to learn:

  • American College of Physicians (ACP) Foundation, Living with Diabetes: An Everyday Guide for You and Your Family. To learn more and order copies, go to http://foundation.acponline.org/hl/diabguide.htm
  • Bodenheimer T. “Coordinating care–a perilous journey through the health care system.” N Engl J Med 2008;358(10):1064-71.
  • Bodenheimer T, Davis C, Holman H. “Helping patients adopt healthier behaviors.” Clinical Diabetes 2007;25(2):66-70.
  • DeWalt DA, Davis TC, Wallace AS, Seligman HK, Bryant-Shilliday B, Arnold CL, Freburger J, Schillinger D. “Goal setting in diabetes self-management: taking the baby steps to success.” Patient Education and Counseling, April 7, 2009, PMID: 19359123.
  • Handley M, MacGregor K, Schillinger D, Sharifi C, Wong S, Bodenheimer T. “Using Action Plans to Help Primary Care Patients Adopt Healthy Behaviors: A Descriptive Study.” J Am Board Fam Med 2006;19(3):224-31.
  • Lorig K. “Action Planning: A Call To Action.” J Am Board Fam Med 2006;19(3):324-5.
  • Lorig, Bodenheimer. Ready, Set, Action Plan. 5 minute instructional video for providers and health educators.  The video demonstrates an easy, brief method for helping 3 patients create small achievable action plans. http://foundation.acponline.org/images/diabetes_dvd.wmv
  • MacGregor K, Wong S, Sharifi C, Handley M, Bodenheimer T. “The action plan project: discussing behavior change in the primary care visit.” Ann Fam Med 2005;3 Suppl 2:S39-40.
  • MacGregor K, Handley M, Wong S, et al. “Behavior-Change Action Plans in Primary Care: A Feasibility Study of Clinicians.” J Am Board Fam Med 2006;19(3):215-23.
  • Osborne H, “In other words…How to help patients manage their action planning.” On Call magazine, June 26, 2007. Available online at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=6111
  • Seligman HK, Wallace AS, DeWalt DA, et al. “Developing low-literacy patient educational materials to facilitate behavior change.” American Journal of Health Behavior 2007;31(Suppl 1):S69-78.
  • Seligman HK, Wallace AS, DeWalt DA, Schillinger D, Arnold CL, Shilliday BB, Wallace AS, Seligman HK, Davis TC, Schillinger D, Arnold CL, Bryant-Shilliday B, Freburger JK, DeWalt DA. “Literacy appropriate educational materials and brief counseling improves diabetes self-management.” Patient Education and Counseling. 2009.
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Dr. Rima Rudd Talks About the Health Literacy Burden in Healthcare (HLOL #15)

Dr. Rima Rudd is Senior Lecturer on Society, Human Development, and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her work centers on health communication and the design and evaluation of public health programs. She teaches courses on innovative strategies in health education, program planning and evaluation, and health literacy.

Dr. Rudd is widely recognized as a leader in health literacy – helping to shape both the research and practice agenda in the US, Canada, and Europe. Dr. Rudd works closely with the adult education, public health, oral health, and medical sectors. Her current research looks at literacy-related disparities and literacy-related barriers to health programs, services, and care. Her Harvard website on health literacy serves scholars and practitioners.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about the health literacy burden in healthcare. Topics include:

  • Literacy-related disparities and barriers as they relate to healthcare
  • Deconstructing healthcare language, instructions, and activities
  • Literacy demands in chronic disease management, prevention, and navigation
  • Why it’s time to reconsider the definition of health literacy

More Ways to Learn:

  • Harvard School of Public Health, Health Literacy Studies. www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy
  • Communicating Health: Priorities and Strategies for Progress (2003), US Department of Health and Human Services & Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  Dr. Rudd wrote the chapter about health literacy. Available at http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/projects/healthcomm/
  • Literacy and Health in America (2004), Educational Testing Services. Dr. Rudd is one of the authors. Available at http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/PICHEATH.pdf
  • National Center for the Study of Adult Literacy and Learning (NCSALL), http://www.ncsall.net
  • Nielsen-Bohlman L, Panzer AM, Kindig DA, (ed), 2004. Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. The National Academies Press: Washington DC. Dr. Rudd was a member of the Institute of Medicine committee as well as writer/contributor to the book. Available at http://books.nap.edu

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Len & Ceci Doak Discuss Health Literacy’s Past, Present and Future (HLOL #13)

Cecelia (Ceci) and Leonard (Len) Doak are a husband and wife team who, for over 30 years, helped lead the way to health literacy. Their book, workshops, and articles have inspired advocates everywhere to improve health understanding.

Ceci started as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service. During her more 20 years there, Ceci developed and led numerous health education programs. In fact, she received a commendation from the Surgeon General for her work educating the public about cancer.

Len comes to health literacy via adult education, volunteering for many years as a tutor of non-readers. Len’s first career was as a Navy engineer and among his many accomplishments he helped simplify instructions for crews working on ships and submarines.

Len & Ceci co-authored the award-winning book, Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills. In their non-profit business Patient Learning Associates, Inc., Len and Ceci have written guidelines for many important projects and analyzed the suitability of over 2,000 healthcare materials in virtually all formats. They have presented at more than 200 health literacy workshops, training thousands of health professionals in all disciplines.

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, they talk with Helen Osborne about the past, present, and future of health literacy. Topics include:

  • How health literacy began more than 30 years ago
  • Why health literacy was important then and is even more so today
  • Strategies to improve communication and assess if messages are understood
  • Ceci & Len Doak’s vision for health literacy in the future

More ways to learn:

  • Doak, Doak, & Root, Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills, Second Edition. 1996. Available for free at Harvard University School of Public Health’s Health Literacy Studies website, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/resources/doak-book/
  • Houts, Doak, Doak, Lascalzo. “The role of pictures in improving health communication:  A review of research on the benefits of pictures on attention, comprehension, recall, and adherence.”  Patient Education and Counseling, 61 (2006) 173-190, 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words…Can They Understand? Testing Patient Education Materials With Intended Readers,” On Call Magazine, Nov 2001. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3811

Read a transcript of this podcast. 
[Read more…]

Talking Health to Men (HLOL #12)

Joe Zoske, MS, MSW is the Administrative Coordinator of the BSW Social Work Program at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. He incorporates his interests in communication, literacy, and men’s health in his teaching of Health Care Communication Skills and Gender Health courses. Zoske promotes a “whole man model of male wellness,” communicating health information in ways that are male-compassionate and male-affirming.

In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about communication strategies for talking health to men. Topics include:

  • Gender as it relates to cultural competence and health disparities
  • How and why men receive health messages differently than women
  • Strategies providers can use to teach men about illness and well-being

More ways to learn:

  • Men’s Health Network, PO Box 770   Washington, D.C. 20044. http://www.menshealthnetwork.org. This is the lobbying organization for men’s health in the U.S. which also promotes National Men’s Health Week.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words… What’s the Difference? . . . Does Gender Matter When Communicating About Health?” On Call magazine, December 2004. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3787
  • Senay, E & Waters, R. (2004). From Boys to Men: A Women’s Guide to the Health of Husbands, Partners, Sons, Fathers, and Brothers. Scribner: NY
  • Zaman, F. and Underwood, C. (March 2003). The Gender Guide for Health Communication Programs. Center Publication No. 102. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health / Center for Communication Programs. Available at http://www.jhuccp.org/pubs/cp/102/102.pdf
  • Zoske, J. Men’s Health & Wellness: 50 Health Promotion Ideas for Educators, Planners, and Practitioners. 1998. Contact Zoske directly at: Siena College, Social Work House, 515 Loudon Rd, Loudonville NY 12211.
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