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From slam poetry to plain language for health care
Date:7/8/2009


Abstain from: Don't use
Accomplish: Carry out
Accrue: Collect

You can download a free PDF of the Toolkit at www.centerforhealthstudies.org/capabilities/readability/readability_home.html.

PRISM swiftly drew interest from U.S. researchers and other health care professionals. They downloaded the Toolkit 2,000 times in its first year on CHS' Web site. Ridpath and colleagues have presented PRISM resources at more than 10 professional conferences nationwide. She has led training workshops for external and non-research audiences, including Public HealthSeattle & King County. Her training of Group Health patient education writers sparked an organization-wide plain language initiative, resulting in revisions to dozens of patient letters, brochures, and consent forms.

Efforts to give health information a plain language makeover have been gaining steam across health care since the Institute of Medicine's Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion in 2004. This report concluded traditional health information is too complex for roughly 93 million Americanshalf the adult populationto understand.

Since then, the American Medical Association and federal government have also focused on health literacy. Many plain language resources aimed at improving health literacy have sprung up online. Most focus on specific populations or illnesses. The PRISM Toolkit fills a gap in the range of tools already available: practical guidance addressing special challenges that researchers face when communicating with study participants.

"The Toolkit is unique for its emphasis on research," said article co-author Sarah M. Greene, MPH, a research associate at Group Health Center for Health Studies. "But it can also be extended for use in health care and education." PRISM may help meet the Healthy People 2020 objectives: For the fir
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Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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