Health literacy is commonly described as degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions (Malloy-Weir, Charles, Gafni, Entwistle, 2016). Low health literacy affects people of every age, race, socioeconomic status and education level. Patients with hearing loss and their families are faced with the myriad of decisions that need to be made regarding hearing technology, intervention approaches, communication modes, education and life choices. Traditionally, information on topics related to hearing loss and treatment options are not only difficult to obtain, but read, process and understand as well. Additionally, patients with hearing loss and their families, especially those with low health literacy, have trouble providing information about their medical history, auditory functioning and listening and spoken language abilities/goals to professionals which may affect intervention and outcomes. When professionals use health literacy sensitive approaches and materials, patient engagement and informed decision making and outcomes will be enhanced. Quick Course presenter, Becky Clem, presents information about health literacy and it’s impact on patients with hearing loss and their families, and tips on how the professionals can help patients and families gain better access to and understanding of information so that desired outcomes can be achieved.
- Describe the challenges related to health literacy and pediatric hearing loss diagnosis and intervention.
- List the necessary skills for health literacy.
- Describe how health literacy skills can impact decisions and outcomes related pediatric hearing loss diagnosis, technology, and intervention.
- Explain how professionals can elevate patient’s understanding of health information presented.
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