Clearly Communicating Scientific Information (HLOL #83)

David Nelson MD, MPH is Director of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute. Prior to this position, Dr. Nelson worked as an epidemiologist and health communication scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is the author, co-author, or lead author of numerous books and over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

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

  • Why it can be hard to communicate scientific information to lay audiences.
  • Ways to communicate clearly–beginning with an understanding of your audience, their beliefs, and communication goals.
  • How to tell a scientific story using data, metaphor, visuals, and examples.
  • What to consider when weighing the “ethics of simplicity.”

More ways to learn:

  • Nelson DE, Hesse BW, Croyle RT (2009). Making Data Talk: Communicating Public Health Data to the Public, Policy Makers, and the Press. Oxford University Press.
  • National Cancer Institute, US Department of Health and Human Services (2011). Making Data Talk: A Workbook. At http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/cancerlibrary/MDT-Workbook.pdf
  • Parvanta C, Nelson DE, Parvanta SA, Harner RN (2010). Essentials of Public Health Communication. Jones and Bartlett Learning.
  • Remington PL, Nelson DE, Parvanta C (2002). Communicating Public Health Information Effectively: A Guide for Practitioners. American Public Health Association.
  • Osborne H (2004). “In Other Words…The Ethics of Simplicity,” On Call magazine. Available at www.healthliteracy.com/ethics-of-simplicity
  • Rosling, Hans (2010). “The Joy of Stats,” Wingspan Productions for BBC. At http://www.gapminder.org/videos/the-joy-of-stats/

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 9, 11, 26, 28, 30.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

 

Using Twitter and Other Social Media to Communicate About Health Literacy (HLOL #80)

Jessica N. Rowden, MA, CHES is Manager for Health Communication and eHealth at ODPHP (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Jessica coordinates and manages health communication activities for a variety of programs including healthfinder.gov, health.gov, and Healthy People 2020. Jessica also oversees ODPHP’s health literacy initiatives, specializing in online health literacy.

In this podcast, Jessica Rowden talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Ways that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media are like conversations with your audience.
  • Strategies and tools to engage the audience, monitor their participation, and organize messages that you send, receive, and follow.
  • Resources, examples, and ways to learn more about social media.

More Ways to Learn:

ODPHD social media links:

Helen Osborne’s social media links:

Online tools, include:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 34.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Understanding One Another Even When Language and Accents Differ (HLOL #79)

Barbara Hoekje, Ph.D, is associate professor of communication in the Department of Culture and Communication at Drexel University. She also directs Drexel University’s English Language Center. Hoekje’s focus is about furthering communication and understanding between people of different language and cultural backgrounds. For many years, she has worked with international graduate teaching assistants and international medical graduates in the United States.

In this podcast, Barbara Hoekje talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why the U.S. healthcare workforce is becoming increasingly diverse.
  • How speech patters differ even among those who speak the same language and come from the same country.
  • Strategies that providers and patients can use to improve oral understanding.
  • Ways to set a tone that welcomes everyone into our larger world family.

More ways to learn:

To contact Barbara Hoekje: Hoekje@drexel.edu or 215 895-2067.

For instructors of international doctors/healthcare professionals:

Hoekje B, Tipton S, English Language and the Medical Profession: Instructing and Assessing the Communication Skills of International Physicians (2011, Emerald Press).

For patients and others on the receiving end of health communication: Books, tapes, other resources on nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

For foreign born doctors and others health professionals:

  • Resources from the website of the acculturation program of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) (www.ecfmg.org/acculturation/index.html)
  • Chapter on “Language and Communication” by Barbara Hoekje and Marta van Zanten in The International Medical Graduate’s Guide to US Medicine & Residency Training (by P. Alguirre, G. Whelan, and V. Rajput), published by the American College of Physicians, 2008.
  • Practice materials, such as Good practice: Communication skills in English for the medical practitioner (by Marie McCullagh and Roz Wright, published by Cambridge University Press); book and CD

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 15, 18.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

A Tool That Pictures Pain (HLOL #78)

Kim Kristiansen MD lives and works in Denmark. He not only is practicing physician but also CEO of a company called EvidenceProfile ApS. Dr. Kristiansen’s work often focuses on pain, pain management, and pain research. He, along with two colleagues, invented DoloTest®– a validated, multidimensional pain assessment tool that actively involves the patient.

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

  • Why it is so important, yet difficult, for providers and patients to talk about pain.
  • How chronic (persistent) pain affects many aspects of a person’s life.
  • Ways DoloTest® helps patients and providers reach a shared understanding about pain.

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: 5, 8, 9, 38.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Power of Stories in Patient and Family-Centered Care (HLOL #72)

Marlene Fondrick helps patients share their stories as a way to advance the practice of patient and family-centered care. This work builds on Fondrick’s clinical and administrative experiences as a nurse and hospital vice president. Fondrick adds to this mix her perspective as grandmother of a young child who was diagnosed with cancer.

In this podcast, Marlene Fondrick talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The power of stories in patient- and family-centered care.
  • Examples of real-life stories that have made a difference in patient care.
  • Ways to help patients share their stories, including the most important questions to ask.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. Available at http://www.ipfcc.org/
  • Crocker L, Johnson B, Privileged Presence: Personal Stories of Connection in Health Care. 2006, Bull Publishing Company.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words…Tool of Change: Telling and Listening to Stories,” On Call, October 16, 2008. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/telling-stories

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 11, 31, 41.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Talking About Medical Debt (HLOL #71)

Erin Moaratty is Chief of External Communications for the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF). For many years, Erin was PAF’s senior case manager – helping people who have catastrophic illnesses deal with issues about access to care, health insurance, employment retention, and medical debt.

In this podcast, Erin Moaratty talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Medical debt: What this term means, who it affects, why it matters so much.
  • Patient Advocacy Foundation (PAF): Services, resources, and examples of how PAF helps patients with catastrophic illnesses.
  • Ways you can help: Strategies for professionals, friends, family members, and organizations.

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, 11, 13, 41.

Read a transcript of this podcast. 

Animal-Human Bond in Healthcare (HLOL #70)

Alice Villalobos, DVM, DPNAP is Director of Pawspice in Hermosa Beach and Animal Oncology Consultation Service in Woodland Hills, CA. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Villalobos is a founding member of the Veterinary Cancer Society and president of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics. She writes and lectures worldwide on veterinary oncology, quality of life, bioethics, palliative/hospice care for animals, and the human-animal bond.

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

  • How the animal-human bond enriches people, pets, and the environment.
  • Ways that animals help humans during sickness as well as health.
  • Strategies practitioners can use when talking with patients who have pets.

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: 40, 41.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Health Literacy from A to Z (HLOL #66)

Helen Osborne M.Ed., OTR/L helps others communicate health information in ways that patients, families, and caregivers can understand. Helen is president of Health Literacy Consulting, founder of Health Literacy Month, and host of the podcast series, “Health Literacy Out Loud.” She is also the author of “Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message.”

In this podcast, Helen talks with Adam Weiss about the second edition of her book, “Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message.”

Together, Helen and Adam discuss:

  • Who this book is for. What is new and different in the second edition.
  • Why health literacy matters to everyone communicating health information.
  • How health literacy is about mutual understanding between providers (anyone on the giving end of health communication) and patients (everyone on the receiving end of such communication).

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, 4, 40, 41, 42.

The Importance of Empathy in Health Communication (HLOL #61)

Leslie Bank is Director of Customer Service at Montefiore Health Care System in Bronx, New York. She is also the co-author of, “I’m Sorry to Hear That…Real Life Responses to Patients’ 101 Most Common Complaints About Health Care.”

Bank has worked as a healthcare “change agent” for over three decades, always striving to assure that the patient’s voice is heard in all aspects of care. This includes her ongoing work in billing reform. In fact, many refer to Leslie Bank as “The Mother of Patient Friendly Billing.”

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What empathy is and how it helps build trusting healthcare relationships.
  • Strategies and suggestions for using empathy in day-to-day practice.
  • Stories and examples of empathy in action.

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: 5, 24, 27, 41.

 

From the Tooth’s Point of View: Communicating Serious Health Messages with Wit and Whimsy (HLOL #58)

Jeanette Courtad DDS is a practicing dentist. She has worked with patients of all ages—from outreach programs at primary schools to now being the dentist at the Colorado School of Mines Student Health Center.

Dr. Courtad is also an artist with a lifetime of experience painting, dancing, and sculpting. She combines her artistic talents with a passion for educating children about the need for better oral hygiene in her new book, Toothful Tales: How We Survived the Sweet Attack.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why preventive health messages are often difficult to communicate.
  • Ways to draw attention to your message with empathy, wit, and whimsy.
  • Strategies that work with children, young adults, and even parents.

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, 17, 38,

Texting Important Health Messages (HLOL #57)

Julie Gazmararian PhD is Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She has over 25 years of experience conducting public health research in both the public and private sector. Her research focuses on a range of topics including reproductive health, children’s health, health promotion, and health literacy.

Dr. Gazmararian has published many articles on health literacy topics including medication refill adherence and use of preventive services. Now she is evaluating an innovative project called “Text4Baby” that brings together text messaging with prenatal/newborn care.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How “Text4Baby” is being used to teach about prenatal and newborn care.
  • Why text messaging is a communication tool to consider now.
  • What researchers are learning early in the evaluation process.
  • Recommendations for using text messaging in your practice.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Text4Baby. Available for free at http://text4baby.org
  • Osborne H. “In Other Words…Using text messages to improve medication adherence,” On Call magazine. September 18, 2008. Available athttp://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=7987
  • Archer N, Cocosila M, Haynes RB, Yuan Y. “Can wireless text messaging improve adherence to preventive activities? Results of a randomised controlled trial.” International Journal of Medical Informatics. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Balas EA, Boren SA, Krishna S. “Healthcare via cell phones: a systematic review.” Journal of the American Telemedicine Association. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Chen WS, Leong KC, bLeong KW, Mastura I, Mimi O, Ng CJ, Phua KL, Sheikh MA, Teng CL, Zailinawati AH. “The use of text messaging to improve attendance in primary care: a randomized controlled trial.” Family Practice. (2006). PubMed. Web. 30 Dec. 2009.
  • Fry JP, Neff RA. “Periodic prompts and reminders in health promotion and health behavior interventions: systematic review.” Journal of Medical Internet Research. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Haller DM, Patton GC, Sanci LA, Sawyer SM. “Text message communication in primary care research: a randomized controlled trial.” Family Practice. (2009). PubMed. Web. 30 Dec. 2009.

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 35.

Helping Others Understand Health Messages (HLOL #56)

Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, M.S., and Steven Woloshin, MD, MS, are general internists at the White River Junction Veterans Administration Medical Center in Vermont. They also are professors of medicine, and community and family medicine, at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire.

Together, they are working to address two important barriers to health communication: 1) many patients and providers are limited in their ability to interpret medical data, and 2) health messages are often exaggerated or incomplete. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Woloshin have written extensively on this topic and are co-authors of several books including Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics and Overdiagnosed.

In this podcast, they talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • Health statistics, health messages, and health claims. Helping people make sense of what they hear on the news, see on TV, and read in the ads.
  • Three questions to help others better understand health messages.
  • Ways to communicate complicated health messages more simply and clearly.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM, Welch HG, Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics. University of California Press, 2008. (The book can be downloaded for free from http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/testing-treatments.html
  • Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin, Overdiagnosed. Beacon Press, 2011.
  • S Woloshin, LM Schwartz, BS Kramer. “Promoting health skepticism in the news: Helping journalists get it right,” J Natl Cancer Institute 101(23): 1596–1599.
  • “Healthy Skepticism,” White River Junction Outcomes Group. Available at http://www.vaoutcomes.org/washpost.php
  • Osborne H, “In Other Words…Working With Numbers,” On Call magazine, June/July 2004. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3745

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 8, 13, 26.

Blogging to Communicate the Experience of Illness (HLOL #53)

Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, is the founder and president of Stress Resources based in Concord, Massachusetts. She specializes in stress management, health communication, and holistic healthcare. Pam is an early adopter of social media, especially using it as a tool of health communication. Her graduate research looks at the experience of illness through patient blogging and the use of social media as a means to increase patient engagement.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What blogging is and why it matters to both patients and providers.
  • Ways that blogging reflects the experience of illness and fosters resilience.
  • Practical strategies and resources for those new to blogging.

More Ways to Learn:

There are many ways to contact Pam and learn about her work:

Blogging references and examples include:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 5, 34.

Communicating about Health with Older Adults (HLOL #50)

Carolyn Ijams Speros DNSc, FNP-BC, is a nationally recognized expert in nursing and patient education. Throughout her career, she has worked in nursing education, nursing administration, and advanced nursing practice with a focus on systems and strategies in nursing that promote patient education and health literacy. Dr. Speros is Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Memphis and also maintains a practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about communicating with older adults. Topics include:

  • Special learning needs of older adults due to cognitive, psychological, and physical changes associated with aging.
  • Strategies to communicate effectively, even when there is limited time.
  • Respectful ways to assess and confirm that information is understood.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Dr. Carolyn Speros is Associate Professor at the University of Memphis Loewenberg School of Nursing. You can email her directly at csperos@memphis.edu
  • Speros CI, “More than Words: Promoting Health Literacy in Older Adults,” The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 2009; 14(3). Available at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/717469
  • Speros CI, “Health Literacy: Concept Analysis,” Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2005; 50(6), 633-640.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective. Part 9: Material for older adults. Available at http://www.cms.gov/WrittenMaterialsToolkit/11_ToolkitPart09.asp#TopOfPage
  • Knowles M, 1990. The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species, 4th ed. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company.
  • Knowles M, 1980. The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Cambridge Adult Education.
  • Osborne H (host), Stuen C (guest), September 8, 2009. Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast #21: Age-Related Vision Loss. Available at http://www.healthliteracyoutloud.com/2009/09/08/hlol-21-age-related-vision-loss/
  • Osborne H, 2005. Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Jones & Bartlett: Sudbury, MA.

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 22, 7.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Decision Support for Patients Making Life-Changing Choices (HLOL #49)

Jeff Belkora PhD is a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). There he runs the Medical Center’s Decision Services program, helping patients weigh the risks and benefits of their treatment options. Belkora also consults with outside organizations about decision support for patients making life-changing choices. In all this work, Belkora’s focus is on leadership, teamwork, and decision-making.

In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How decision support helps patients reflect critically on life-changing choices.
  • Strategies and systems to help patients understand decisions and communicate effectively.
  • 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: 8

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 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. 

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.

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

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.

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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