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Low health Literacy in Heart Disease patients - Essay Example

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Low Health Literacy in Heart Disease Patients [Name of the Student] [Name of the University] Low Health Literacy in Heart Disease Patients Poor health literacy affects several aspects of health, such as the safety of patients, the quality of health care and positive health outcomes for patients…
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Low health Literacy in Heart Disease patients

Download file to see previous pages... Some of these problems are increased mortality, increased risk of hospitalization, and decreased mental health (Evangelista, et al., 2010, p. 9). Consequently, low health literacy has to be identified and clinical practice should include the necessary interventions that deal with low health literacy. The importance of health literacy and its effects on human health gained considerable recognition in the 1990s. It was identified that good communication was significant in the health management of patients. Such communication should be developed between health care professionals and the patients and their relatives (Evangelista, et al., 2010, p. 9). It ensures the safety of patients and enhances the quality of health care. In the absence of proper communication, it is not possible to achieve optimal health care. The combination of low health literacy and lack of communication leads to serious health problems, such as increased risk of safety. This is because low health literacy deprives a patient, with chronic disease, of self-care skills. Institutes like the Heart Failure Society of America and the American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association stressed the importance of educating the patient about self-care methods (Evangelista, et al., 2010, p. 9). These methods are an essential component of the heart failure disease management programs. Therefore, health literacy is very important for patients with heart disease. Patients should understand and apply the provisions of the health literacy, in order to obtain the desired health outcomes (Evangelista, et al., 2010, p. 9). In the US, low literacy is a major problem. In the late 1990s, there were around forty million adults with a score that was accorded level 1 of the National Adult Research Survey (NALS). Level 1 is the lowest of the five levels of the NALS. This was complemented by another fifty million adults who were designated as level 2 individuals on the NALS (Berkman, et al., 2004). These literacy levels determine the capacity of individuals to understand information or numbers. In the healthcare setting, literacy is of great importance. Patients with low literacy may find it difficult to communicate with their physicians, which would compromise the quality of medical care received by them. Low literacy makes it difficult for patients to understand the instructions given by the physician; and result in adverse health outcomes, and undesirable health effects (Berkman, et al., 2004). Lack of communication capacity, due to low literacy will result in the obtention of inferior quality treatment. It is essential to be aware of health issues. This requires a clear understanding of health information. Such comprehension is termed health literacy. The American Medical Association states that health literacy is an indicator of the personal health of individuals. Health literacy varies from person to person (Glassman, 2010). Thus, persons with poor health literacy do not give much importance to their personal health. According to the Institute of Medicine, more than half the people in the US consider it difficult to understand and use health information. Most of the patients in the US fail to follow medical schedules, on account of poor health literacy. They fail to take medicines as prescribed and fail to keep their appointment with doctors (Glassman, 2010). Interaction is an important aspect of healthcare area. It normally transpires in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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