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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-88

A need for health literacy curriculum: Knowledge of health literacy among us audiologists and speech-language pathologists in Arkansas


1 Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas, USA
2 Center for Rural Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, USA

Correspondence Address:
Samuel R Atcherson
Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S. University, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.120699

Context: We assessed the general knowledge of health literacy and the impact of limited health literacy on patients and to society in United States (US) audiologists and speech-language pathologists in Arkansas. Methods: A 10-item survey was completed by 198 professionals and students in communication sciences and disorders in Arkansas. The 10-items were divided into one demographic question, six patient-related health literacy questions, and three systems-related health literacy questions. Results: Most professionals and students were aware that limited health literacy can be an obstacle for patients, but they were only somewhat or not aware of existing data on the average US adult reading grade level, the readability of clinic forms, or the estimated economic healthcare cost as a result of low health literacy. Discussion: Increasing the awareness of health literacy and the impact of limited health literacy among all healthcare providers would be a worthwhile endeavor. More work is needed to study health literacy in various patient populations and to develop effective approaches to combat low health literacy in the field of communication sciences and disorders, as well as other healthcare disciplines, across the globe. This study suggests that health literacy awareness training may be needed, not only in Arkansas, but also throughout the US and other countries. The outcome should bridge the health literacy and communication gap between providers and their patients.


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