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Confusion Over Drug Dosing Common for Seniors
Date:2/28/2011

highly educated, and still many had marginal health literacy skills," she said. "The assumption is that poor health literacy is only among the less educated and low socioeconomic groups. This study shows this is not the case."

Parnell thinks that doctors need to explain things to patients in plain language.

In addition, in a process called "teach-back," doctors can have their patient repeat what they were told.

"It's not testing the patient, but asking them to repeat in their own words what had just been gone over," Parnell said. "You'll know in seconds if what was just said was understood."

More information

For more information on health literacy, visit the U.S. National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

SOURCES: Michael Wolf, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine and learning sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; Laurence Gardner, M.D., executive dean for education and policy, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Terri Ann Parnell D.N.P., R.N., corporate director, Health Literacy, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Lake Success, N.Y.; Feb. 28, 2011, Archives of Internal Medicine


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