Health Literacy In Health Care

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Health literacy has been a major focus in the country for numerous years and is fundamental to health care reform. This is due to the fact that low health literacy is associated with poor health outcomes, higher healthcare costs and reduced quality of care. Health literacy refers to “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Baker, 2006). According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using the everyday health information that is routinely made available by physicians and other healthcare providers, and handed out in hospitals, health clinics, community programs, or accessed…show more content…
The prevalence of HF is expected to increase by 25 percent in the next two decades, exacerbating the extent of these issues (Benjamin et al., 2018). Repeat and frequent emergency room visits and hospital readmissions for symptom relief contribute to HF being the most costly cardiovascular illness in the United States and cause an immense burden on the individual, the family and the health care system. Common reasons for HF hospitalizations and readmissions include delays in symptom recognition, lack of knowledge and skills for competent self care and as a result, poor adherence to their treatment regimen involving the restriction of fluid and sodium intake, daily weight monitoring, regular physical activity and the regular use of medications (Dennison, 2011; CDC, 2016).
The American Heart Association (AHA) identified low health literacy as a challenge to effective self-care for patients with HF. According to the AHA, about half of those afflicted will die within five years of the diagnosis (Benjamin et al., 2018). Early intervention and treatment can improve quality and length of life for most patients. Thus, it is crucial that patient education materials pertinent to HF be tangible to the general public in order for HF patients to better understand, manage, and monitor their condition in the appropriate
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Thus, the goal in designing the brochure was to create something that was visually appealing, uncluttered, and easy to follow. Its design was also based according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations, which include avoiding long sentences by attempting to limit them to no more than ten words. This is due to the fact that the longer a sentence is, the more difficult it is to comprehend. Another CDC recommendation is incorporating illustrations and keeping the materials font size between 12 to 14 points, making headings 2 points larger and limiting the use of all capital letters, italics, nontraditional fonts and sans-serif fonts as this makes the content easier to read (CDC, 2009). In light of this, I used these font characteristics and bold font only to highlight important words, phrases or headings. I also used bullets instead of paragraphs to simplify the information when

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