Seeking to Understand the Reader of Interest--Your Patient--Health Literacy and Adherence Concerns for the Dentist and the Dental/Medical Team

Wasson, Waletha; Woods, Marjorie A.; Holder-Ballard, Cassandra; Aubertin, Mary; Lewis, Maurice W.; Ross, Judith; Scarbecz, Mark; Himel, Van
April 2015
Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association;Spring/Summer2015, Vol. 95 Issue 1, p40
The overall health of the United States' (U.S.) population has been surveyed and reported for several decades in a quest by healthcare professionals to understand the etiology for healthcare disparities and seek to lessen its effects on individuals and, ultimately, eliminate them. Many of these surveys and reports have illuminated disparities of access to healthcare by focusing on measures to address health literacy deficiencies. A plethora of information concerning patients' health literacy skills and printed information has been made available for dentists and their staff. The printed information is in the format of published patient- centered educational guidelines and readable dental and medical limited reach media (LRM), such as information sheets and prescription drug leaflets. LRM has great potential to enhance access to healthcare information for the reader of interest--your patient--at a readable and comprehensible level. Printed materials are an effective means to enhance health promotion and education for the lay populace. Tailored LRM protocol and the Patient Introduction Form (PIF) are excellent educational instruments for dentists and the dental/medical team (The Team). These instruments are valuable assets for The Team to assist its patients in monitoring and maintaining dental and medical adherence protocols in their daily lives.


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