[HealthLiteracy 5354] Re: incomplete information and jargon

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MarkH38514 at aol.com MarkH38514 at aol.com
Tue Jan 25 15:19:23 EST 2011

I could not agree more. A friend called last week to update us on his
wife's medical condition. He said that some of her lab values were "high." I
told him about my experience with lab results--if a lab value was even one
point above the normal range, it got flagged as "high"--even though my doctor
said it wasn't a problem until the lab value was twice the normal score.

My friend was stunned; I think he thought his wife's "high" lab results
were much, much worse than they really were. He wondered why they couldn't
use flags like "slightly above normal," "moderately above normal," or "very
much above normal." He was going to check her lab values to see how "high"
they really were.

Seeing that your lab results are "high" may not tell you very much, may
increase your anxiety level, and may be hazardous to your mental health.

Mark Hochhauser

In a message dated 1/25/2011 1:13:06 P.M. Central Standard Time,
rima.rudd at gmail.com writes:

Thank you Sandra for bringing this very important issue to the fore!
I have long used this very example to illustrate health /medical
assumptions. There is a concurrent tendency to 'blame the patient' who cannot
interpret incomplete information or understand jargon [such as ' take medicine on
an empty stomach']. We continue to use words [risk, normal, range] that
are ill defined as well as medical and scientific jargon [short cuts, really
that professionals use when talking amongst themselves] that remain
mysterious to outsiders and thereby erect barriers to information and to critical
Needless to say, if the basic principles of rigorous formative research
were followed, writers / designers would learn from members of their intended
audience in a pilot review and be in a position to modify the materials.
Rima Rudd

On Jan 24, 2011, at 5:43 PM, sandra smith wrote:

This overstatement underestimates patients and oversimplifies the problem.
It would be more accurate to say as many as 32 million Americans may have
difficulty interpreting instructions on medication labels. Correct
interpretation of apparently simple instructions requires significant background
information not included in the instruction; e.g. “Take 1 tablet 3 times a
day” assumes understanding of titration. Cost studies based on
extrapolations from such estimates must be interpreted with caution.
Sandra Smith, MPH, PhD

From: _healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov_
(mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov) [mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] On Behalf Of
_familyvoicesnj at aol.com_ (mailto:familyvoicesnj at aol.com)
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 9:20 AM
To: _healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov)
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5341] Health Literacy Instruction

Latest estimates indicate that 1 in 7 adults, or 32 million Americans, can’
t read the instructions on a medication bottle. The costs of healthcare
literacy are high, besides the human factor of poor health outcomes. The
University of Connecticut study showed that $106-238 billion is lost every
year on healthcare costs due to poor communication between patients and

Here's the study


Also more stats here


-----Original Message-----
From: _healthliteracy-request at lincs.ed.gov_
(mailto:healthliteracy-request at lincs.ed.gov)
To: _healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov)
Sent: Mon, Jan 24, 2011 12:00 pm
Subject: HealthLiteracy Digest, Vol 64, Issue 18

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of HealthLiteracy digest..."

Today's Topics:

1. [HealthLiteracy 5333] Health Literacy in Illinois
(Angela C. Riley, PharmD, CGP)
2. [HealthLiteracy 5334] Re: Health Literacy Instruction
(Debbie SokolMcKay)
3. [HealthLiteracy 5335] Job Posting: Staff Associate (Full
Time) (Sarah)
4. [HealthLiteracy 5336] Re: Medical Writing class (Kathleen Carlson)


Message: 1
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2010 11:23:11 -0600
From: "Angela C. Riley, PharmD, CGP" <_a-riley at csu.edu_
(mailto:a-riley at csu.edu) >
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5333] Health Literacy in Illinois
To: _healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov)
<AANLkTi=z6vA=_0za3rzi_N6DWZQ-Xc3VJ1OHC43zysvnq at mail.gmail.com_
(mailto:0za3rzi_N6DWZQ-Xc3VJ1OHC43zysvnq at mail.gmail.com) >
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Hello Literacy Leaders-

I have so enjoyed the discussions on this listserve, but would like to
contact those of you located in Illinois for information/local resources for
pharmacy students. We discuss health literacy throughout the curriculum,
but would love to discuss partnerships for greater exposure.

Thank you!

Angela C. Riley, PharmD, CGP
IPPE Coordinator, Office of Experiential Education
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Chicago State University College of Pharmacy
9501 S. King Drive, Douglas Hall 206, Chicago, IL 60628
P: 773.821.2500 | F: 773.821.2217
mailto: _a-riley at csu.edu_ (mailto:a-riley at csu.edu) |
_www.csu.edu/collegeofpharmacy/_ (http://www.csu.edu/collegeofpharmacy/)
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Message: 2
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:18:17 -0500
From: "Debbie SokolMcKay" <_dasmot at rcn.com_ (mailto:dasmot at rcn.com) >
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5334] Re: Health Literacy Instruction
To: "'The Health and Literacy Discussion List'"
<_healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov) >
Message-ID: <007401cbb8f8$55e39710$01aac530$@com>
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Does anyone have a recent statistic on the prevalence of low literacy as it
relates to reading medication labels?


Debra A. Sokol-McKay, MS,


Consultant - Private Practitioner

Low Vision and Adaptive Diabetes Self Management

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From: _healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov_
(mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov)
[_mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov_
(mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov?) ] On Behalf Of Dianna Baycich
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 5:57 PM
To: 'The Health and Literacy Discussion List'
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5330] Re: Health Literacy Instruction

There are also some good materials and curricula on the LINCS site

_http://lincs.ed.gov/health/health_ (http://lincs.ed.gov/health/health)

The links to the materails along the left side of the page are your best

From: _healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov_
(mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov)
[_mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov_
(mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov?) ] On Behalf Of Kathryn Thompson
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 5:18 PM
To: _healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov)
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5322] Health Literacy Instruction

We are working to develop a number of heath literacy lesson plans for Adult
Basic Ed and ESL instructors (most of whom are volunteers), which will
ideally be 30-45 minutes lessons that the instructors can incorporate into
their regular programming, perhaps once a week over a nine month period. We
have a group of medical and literacy professionals working with us, and have
been fortunate that several other literacy organizations have been willing
to share their materials with us. However, we would like to determine if
there are other materials out there for review as well, as we start our

Our Coalition is quite new, only 18 months old, with a very small staff, so
we are depending on generous volunteers for this project, and will be
seeking grant funding to support our work. We already have a good idea of
the many websites out there for general health literacy information - that
is not what we are seeking. Instead, we are specifically looking for lesson
plans that are appropriate for the instructor to use with the students with
a minimum of advance work on the instructor's part, since our instructors
are, for the most part, busy volunteers.

If you have any suggestions for us, or would be willing to share something
you have found and/or have created, we would be most grateful!

Thank you,

Kathryn B. Thompson, CFRE

Executive Director

Tarrant Literacy Coalition

Fort Worth, TX 76116

Office: (817) 870-0082

Cell: (817) 917-5485


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Message: 3
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 13:30:03 -0500
From: Sarah <_sarah at communicatehealth.com_
(mailto:sarah at communicatehealth.com) >
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5335] Job Posting: Staff Associate (Full
To: _HealthLiteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:HealthLiteracy at lincs.ed.gov)
<_8AAA854B-B025-4089-B845-A86C96EDE9B3 at communicatehealth.com_
(mailto:8AAA854B-B025-4089-B845-A86C96EDE9B3 at communicatehealth.com) >
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252

CommunicateHealth, Inc. is looking for a motivated staff associate to join
innovative team. We are a health communication firm specializing in health
literacy and user-centered design. This position provides an excellent
opportunity to work on national public health projects, including the
development and management of an award-winning federal Web site.

Responsibilities include:
? Writing and editing tasks
? Support for health communication, user-centered design, policy,
and content development projects
? Business development support
? General office duties and administrative tasks

? Strong written and verbal communication skills
? MPH or related public health masters degree (significant experience
will be
considered in place of degree)
? Minimum 3 years professional experience
? Effective organizational and time management skills

? Demonstrated experience and commitment to public health
? Experience developing health education materials
? Experience with formative research and user-centered design processes
? Familiar with government contracting procedures
? Familiar with Mac operating system and software

Please send cover letter, resume and 3 references to
_jobs at communicatehealth.com_ (mailto:jobs at communicatehealth.com) .

This is a full time salaried position based in our office in Northampton,
Massachusetts. We offer highly competitive salaries and full benefits.

Sarah Pomerantz
CommunicateHealth, Inc.
26 Market Street, Suite 3
Northampton, MA 01060
_sarah at communicatehealth.com_ (mailto:sarah at communicatehealth.com)
_www.communicatehealth.com_ (http://www.communicatehealth.com/)


Message: 4
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 16:08:23 -0700
From: Kathleen Carlson <_Kathleen.Carlson at asu.edu_
(mailto:Kathleen.Carlson at asu.edu) >
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5336] Re: Medical Writing class
To: "_healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov) "
<_healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov_ (mailto:healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov) >
<_230DD43ACFBCEF49BA88DFD6395AA0414D1B87D716 at EX10.asurite.ad.asu.edu_
(mailto:230DD43ACFBCEF49BA88DFD6395AA0414D1B87D716 at EX10.asurite.ad.asu.edu) >
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This is the first time I have posted to this listserv and I find it a
wealth of
information. I follow the health literacy topics when time permits.

I have compiled a list of recommended web sites that have been posted on
health literacy website from many listserv participants.

I am curious is there a single source(s) (web sites) that any of you
for journalism students who are going to be future medical writers?

I want to emphasis health literacy in their writing so their audience
understands what they are writing about. Any suggestions will be most
appreciated. Am I missing any essential website??

Here is what I have compiled:

Literacy Information and Communication System _http://lincs.ed.gov/_


(http://www.healthliteracynow.org<http/www.healthliteracynow.org) >

(http://www.healthliteracymissouri.org<http/www.healthliteracymissouri.org) >

Searcher In Charge: Health Information



Health Literacy & Plain Language Resource Guide"
(http://healthliteracyinnovations.com/) >

Kathleen Carlson, MLS, AHIP
Health Sciences Librarian
Arizona State University

P Think before you print

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