Health Literacy Practices in Primary Care Settings: Examples from the Field

Sharon E. Barrett, Jennifer Sheen Puryear, and Kathie Westpheling. Health Literacy Practices in Primary Care Settings: Examples from the Field. New York: Commonwealth Fund, January 2008.
Low health literacy is widespread among U.S. patients, yet limited research has been done to assess the effects of health literacy practices designed to combat the problem, particularly among safety-net providers in primary care settings. This report presents findings from a 2005 study in which the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved first did an online survey of health care facilities across the country and then followed it up with visits to five selected sites for staff and patient interviews. The study identified five health literacy practices that staff considered especially valuable for their group’s patients and potentially applicable to other clinics: a team effort, beginning at the front desk; use of standardized communication tools; use of plain language, face-to-face communication, pictorials, and educational materials; clinicians partner with patients to achieve goals; and organizational commitment to create an environment where health literacy is not assumed. Full report (pdf)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s