Communication strategies

Practicals ways to clearly communicate your health message.

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.

Consumer Reports Health Ratings (HLOL #75)

John Santa MD, MPH is Director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. For many years, he worked as a primary care physician, healthcare executive, researcher, and policy maker. Now Dr. Santa and others work to evaluate and compare health services, products and practitioners based on current, robust, and independent sources of information.

In this podcast, Dr. Santa and Helen Osborne talk about:

  • Consumer Reports: How it helps consumers make purchasing decisions.
  • Why it is important for individuals to understand health ratings.
  • How Consumer Reports uses symbols, summaries, and narratives.
  • Strategies and resources for listeners to 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: 4, 9, 11, 13, 38.

Read a written transcript of this podcast.

Plain Writing Act of 2010 (HLOL #73)

Annetta Cheek Ph.D. is an ongoing champion of plain language. With a background in anthropology and many years experience as a federal employee, Cheek helped lead the way to convincing the U.S. Congress to pass the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Now she and others are supporting new legislation to streamline government regulations.

Annetta Cheek’s commitment to plain language is long-standing. Among her many accomplishments, she served as an expert for Vice President Gore’s plain language initiative. More recently, she helped found the non-profit organization, the Center for Plain Language.

In this podcast, Annetta Cheek talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Plain language: What it is and why it is needed for all types of documents.
  • Plain language legislation: How government communications affect everyone.
  • Practical ways to help overcome a “culture of complex 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: 3, 4, 6, 27, 28, 30.

For a transcript of this podcast, please visit http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11098

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.

Problematic Words in Health Research (HLOL #69)

Jessica Ridpath founded a research-centric plain language initiative called Program for Readability In Science & Medicine (PRISM) at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, WA. In this initiative, Ridpath provides plain language editing, training, and consultation for health researchers, health education writers, hospital staff, and public health employees. Her focus is often on writing clear and understandable informed consent forms for research.

In this podcast, Ridpath talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Informed consent forms for research. Why these forms can be difficult to read and ways to make them easier for the lay public to understand.
  • Problematic words. Examples of words and terms that may cause confusion even though these words are short and familiar.
  • Strategies and tools to improve understanding of health research concepts.

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: 6, 8, 12, 16, 27, 28, 30.

Read a transcript of this podcast. 

Helping Patients Take Medication Safely and Effectively (HLOL #65)

Rebecca Burkholder JD is a healthcare attorney and Vice President of Health Policy at the National Consumers League–a national, nonprofit membership organization that has been representing consumers and workers since1899. Burkholder coordinates the League’s work on various health care issues including safe use of medication, patient safety, doctor-patient communication, and direct-to-consumer advertising. She also coordinates the League’s new national medication adherence campaign, “Script Your Future.”

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, Burkholder talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Medication adherence. What it is and why it is so important today.
  • Research about why patients do not take medication as directed.
  • Script Your Future, a broad-based educational campaign with tools, resources, and links to help improve medication adherence.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018) Relevant chapters include: 13, 26, 30.

Using the Internet for Health (HLOL #62)

Lee Rainie is Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Since 1999, this non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” has studied the social impact of the internet. The Pew Research Center has examined and reported how people’s Internet use affects their families, communities, work places, education, civic and political life. It also studies how people use the Internet for health.

In this podcast, Rainie talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The rise of “e-patients.” Who they are. How they use the Internet for health.
  • The Internet as a way to increase patient engagement. How Internet usage may differ for those with chronic conditions versus new diagnoses.
  • Ways that health professionals can be active members of online conversations, too.
  • Rainie’s vision of what health communication might be like in years ahead.

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: 13, 33, 34, 35, 36.

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.

 

Creating, Finding, and Growing in a Health Literacy Career (HLOL #60)

Geri Lynn Baumblatt has been working on health literacy projects for many years. As the editorial director at Emmi Solutions, she creates and maintains Emmi Solutions’ interactive patient education programs. Geri is also a podcaster and hosts an annual series for Health Literacy Month on the blog: Engaging the Patient.

In this podcast Baumblatt talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How her health literacy journey began with an interest in science, graduate study in literature, and frustration with being a patient.
  • Why clarity and simplicity are needed for multimedia patient education projects.
  • Tips, strategies, lessons learned for people seeking health literacy careers.

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, 36, 40.

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.

Dr. David Blumenthal Talks About Health Information Technology (HLOL #54)

David Blumenthal MD, MPP serves as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (or Health IT) under President Barack Obama. Dr. Blumenthal is charged with building a secure nationwide health information system and supporting the widespread, meaningful use of Health IT.

Dr. Blumenthal’s credentials are extensive. He not only was a practicing primary care physician but also is a renowned researcher and national authority on health IT. Dr. Blumenthal serves on numerous national boards and has authored over 200 scholarly publications, including “Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office,” which tells the history of U.S. Presidents’ involvement in health reform, from FDR through George W. Bush.

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

  • What Health IT is and why it’s needed in healthcare today.
  • How Health IT benefits providers, researchers, and patients.
  • Concerns about Health IT and work being done to address them.
  • What an ideal Health IT world would look like 20 years from now.

More ways to learn:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt/community/healthit_hhs_gov__home/1204

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, 36.

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.

Reach Out and Read: Encouraging Literacy and Health Literacy from Childhood On (HLOL #52)

Perri Klass, MD, FAAP, is the National Medical Director of Reach Out and Read—a non-profit initiative that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide. Reach Out and Read gives new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Beyond her work with Reach Out and Read, Dr. Klass is a professor of journalism and pediatrics at New York University and also works at Bellevue Hospital Clinic. She served on the Health Literacy Project Advisory Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition, Dr. Klass is a widely published author of both fiction and nonfiction, who writes frequently about topics concerning children and health. She also writes about her ongoing interest in knitting.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Reach Out and Read, a program to encourage early literacy and promote reading aloud.
  • Why it is important to address literacy in well-child pediatric visits.
  • The intersection of literacy, learning, and health from childhood on.

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: 17, 21, 27, 31, 40.

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.

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.

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. 

Folktales as Tools for Healing (HLOL #37)

Wendy Welch PhD is a folklorist and storyteller. She is on the faculty of the Healthy Appalachia Institute and teaches Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Wendy has served on the Board of Directors for the US National Storytelling Network and was on the National Storytelling Board in the UK.

Beyond these many professional achievements, Wendy co-owns a used bookstore, tours as storytelling performer and instructor, and is an accomplished craftswoman. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about using folktales, personal stories, fairy tales, and urban legends as tools for healing. Topics include:

  • Using folktales with people of all ages, abilities, and cultures.
  • Using folktales to motivate behavior change.
  • Using folktales in community based participatory research.
  • Using folktales in your practice and getting more involved with research.

More ways to learn:

  • Wendy Welch welcomes hearing your story about using folktales as tools for healing. You can email Wendy directly at wow6n@uvawise.edu
  • Healthy Appalachia Institute, http://www.uvawise.edu/health
  • National Storytelling Network, http://www.storynet.org
  • Osborne, H “In other words…Tools of change: Telling and listening to stories,” On Call magazine, October 16, 2008. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=8051
  • Pantheon and Dolch are publishing houses that do and did (respectively) collections of fairy tales and multicultural folktales. Welch advises that if you find collections from either publisher (at a second-hand bookstore, perhaps) then you can rest assured they will be good.

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

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.

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