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Nursing Management:
doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000407776.42407.ef
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The impact of patient literacy on healthcare practices

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INSTRUCTIONS The impact of patient literacy on healthcare practices

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The impact of patient literacy on healthcare practices

GENERAL PURPOSE: To provide the professional registered nurse with an overview of how low literacy affects healthcare delivery and outcomes. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After reading the preceding article and taking the following test, you should be able to: 1. Describe the impact of low literacy on the U.S. healthcare system. 2. Identify elements of health literacy and ways to improve it.

1. The ratio of U.S. adults who are unable to read basic discharge instructions is

a. 1 in 3.

b. 1 in 5.

c. 1 in 10.

d. 1 in 20.

2. The National Center for Educational Statistics indicates the percentage of U.S. adults who have difficulty accessing, understanding, and using basic health information is nearly

a. 25%.

b. 33%.

c. 50%.

d. 66%.

3. Research has found that low literacy in patients has been linked to their

a. poor relationships with healthcare providers.

b. increased emotional difficulties.

c. poor patient satisfaction scores.

d. lack of desire to participate in medical decision making.

4. Which of the following is directly linked to patient illiteracy?

a. increased medication errors after discharge

b. improved assessment of patient reading skills by healthcare professionals

b. lower healthcare costs due to fewer physician visits

d. improved patient satisfaction because more assistance is provided

5. Studies have shown a direct correlation between low literacy skills and

a. patients' desire to learn.

b. chronically poor health status.

c. use of English as a second language.

d. cognitive impairment.

6. Which of the following statements about U.S. patients and literacy is accurate?

a. Most patients with low literacy skills are slow to learn or cognitively impaired.

b. Most patients with low literacy are immigrants or from a minority group.

c. Most patients with low literacy will seek assistance when needed.

d. Half of all patients can't read at the 5th-grade level.

7. The director of the AHRQ states that "the main currency of healthcare" is

a. nursing care.

b. communication.

c. insurance coverage.

d. government support.

8. Discharging a patient from the hospital is often more problematic today because

a. patients are sent home more critically ill.

b. there are insufficient resources for discharged patients.

c. patients are less compliant with their discharge regimen.

d. home care is too expensive.

9. To address problems associated with patient discharge, hospital nurses must first

a. collaborate with the multidisciplinary team.

b. educate the patient and family.

c. assess the patient.

d. simplify communication.

10. Which question is least likely to provide information needed for effective patient teaching?

a. What grade level did the patient finish?

b. What must the patient know when he's home?

c. What will motivate the patient toward compliance and active participation?

d. How can the patient be taught the critical information that will keep him safe?

11. The AHRQ defines literacy as the ability to read, write, and speak in English sufficiently to do all of the following except

a. function on the job and in society.

b. analyze and solve problems at a 5th-grade or higher level of proficiency.

c. achieve one's goals.

d. develop one's knowledge and potential.

12. The author identifies the skills for functional health literacy as reading, writing, computation, and

a. communication.

b. reasoning.

c. memorization.

d. reflection.

13. According to Healthy People 2010, health literacy involves the ability to

a. read.

b. sign forms.

c. anticipate consequences of treatment.

d. understand information to make appropriate decisions.

14. According to Healthy People 2010, the skills necessary for true health literacy may include all except

a. analyzing one's own health needs.

b. calculating dosages.

c. interpreting test results.

d. evaluating information for credibility.

15. In the AHRQ's "best evidence" research, which of the following wasn't specifically identified as an area that patients with low literacy skills have difficulty understanding?

a. how smoking affects health

b. reasons to come to the ED

c. informed-consent forms

d. how to self-administer medications

16. Which possible solution to the health literacy problem is offered by the author?

a. Question the patient about the rationale for decisions he or she made.

b. Use a test format to ensure the patient's understanding of a topic.

c. Ask the patient to restate information in his or her own words.

d. Explain information slowly and thoroughly so repetition is unnecessary.

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