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Lower Literacy Puts Poor Health In Aging

scription bottle. For our patients' sake, we need to be careful not to make assumptions about literacy skills. It is our responsibility, as clinicians, to talk to and to educate all of our patients in a way that they can understand.’

Sudore says further research is needed to identify interventions that would prevent poor health outcomes in these ‘vulnerable elders.’ She points to multidisciplinary education programs that have been shown to be successful in geriatric and low-literacy populations. ‘Combining these two efforts may be what is needed,’ she speculates.

In the long run, predicts Sudore, successful interventions would save money for taxpayers: ‘People with limited literacy skills have worse health outcomes, poor access to health care – as our study showed – and are more likely to get their care in the emergency room and to be hospitalized, which has been shown to incur higher health care costs.’

Soure: Eurekalert
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