Diabetes Among Persons With Limited Health Literacy
Low Health Literacy among Diabetic Patients
Low health literacy is a significant barrier among patients with diabetes. Low health literacy is widespread among patients suffering from diabetes (Cavanaugh et al., 2009). It is linked to poor knowledge regarding diabetes as well as the difficulty to learn advanced skills of self-care required for improving glycemic control (Cavanaugh et al., 2009). In most cases, diabetic patients with low literacy are more likely to African American, older with lower income as well as educational attainment (Osborn, Cavanaugh & Kripalani, 2010). Additionally, ...view middle of the document...
Enhancing communication between the patient and the health care provider is essential (Kandula et al., 2009). It is important to develop diabetes materials, which can be interactively used between patients and health care providers. As a result, this will foster patient understanding, promote empowerment and encourage self-efficacy with personal care behaviors. Since the target audience consists mainly of older people, communication materials should be designed to incorporate color coding, use low grade level of reading as well as provide a step by step guidance and instructions.
Strategies with no difference in health literacy status can be applied, for example, promoting goal setting together with shared decisions. Provider counseling is also incorporated to enhance successful execution of behavioral goal identified by the patient. Additionally, interpreters can be used to promote communication between English speaking health providers and non-English speaking ethnic minority diabetic patients (Kandula et al., 2009). The interpreter should make use of words and provide examples, which are relevant to the cultural customs and values. The information is tailored based on social and cultural backgrounds of the audience.
Strategies to Enhance Usability of Health Information
To enhance the usability of the information, one strategy is simplifying health information by making use of plain language (Gollust & Lantz, 2009). This includes lowering the text reading level, improving tone and structure of diabetic health information. This is particularly essential since the target...