Many Americans Struggle with Health Literacy

A fascinating article in the Washington Post about the need to keep written content for patients simple and understandable.  Is your written material saying what it should say?  Doing what it should do?  You can’t afford not to read this.


By Sandra G. Boodman

Kaiser Health News
Monday, February 28, 2011; 8:37 PM

An elderly woman sent home from the hospital develops a life-threatening infection because she doesn’t understand the warning signs listed in the discharge instructions. A man flummoxed by an intake form in a doctor’s office reflexively writes “no” to every question because he doesn’t understand what is being asked. A young mother pours a drug that is supposed to be taken by mouth into her baby’s ear, perforating the eardrum. And a man in his 70s preparing for his first colonoscopy uses a suppository as directed, but without first removing it from the foil packet.

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