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Health Literacy: Clinical Steps to Improve Patient Literacy Skills

Author: Noah Carpenter, MD

CE: 2 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 6268 reviews

Course Summary

Many adults have limited health literacy which can lead to poor health outcomes. Most physical assessments can be lengthy and involve verbal and written health screening tools and communication. Health clinicians will also frequently hand out written patient education material, yet it is estimated that the average adult in the United States has a basic grade school level of reading. A discrepancy exists between how the average health clinician communicates information to patients and what most patients are able to understand. Often health literacy is associated with a language or cultural barrier, and low health literacy occurs simply due to a lack of understanding, issues of anxiety, or pre-existing risk factors related to age and chronic comorbidities. National health organizations leading public health policy are developing clinical education and improved standards of patient care that promote more effective ways to communicate health information to patients across the literacy spectrum.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  1. Introduction
  1. Health Literacy and Managing Disease

Health Literacy Skills

  1. Patient Communication
  1. Impact of Health Literacy and National Goals

Impact of Health Literacy

  1. Health Literacy Research
  1. Detecting Low Health Literacy
  2. Improving Health Communication
  1. Professional Practice Skills

Literacy Assessment

  1. Case Study: An Ecological Momentary Assessment
  1. Summary


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