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Improving Health Literacy with Clear Communication Essay

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Health literacy, defined as the ability to search, find, understand, evaluate and act on health information to promote, maintain and improve health in a variety of ways across the lifespan (Manafo & Wong, 2013). Paasche-Orlow and Wolf proposed a conceptual model of this relationship that highlights the two-sided nature of health literacy: the role of self-care and personal skill development, and the importance of a therapeutic relationship between patient and healthcare provider.

As two aspects operate together in promoting efficient health literacy outcomes, a top priority of health literacy for Canadians is having the necessary capacity, opportunity, and encouragement to collect and use health information efficiently; so, they can act as educated partners in their self-care (Manafo, 2013).

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Unfortunately, Canadians have a low level of health literacy, which associates with poorer health outcomes. Low health education interferes health promotion and well-being of the aging Canadian population (Poureslami, Rootman, Pleasant, FitzGerald, 2016). Enhancing individual health literacy skills is the next step in promoting the use and uptake of information available to support Canadians’ health and well-being (Manafo, 2013). Improved health literacy associated with reductions in risk behaviors for chronic disease, higher self-reported health status, and decreased health care utilization. (Poureslami, Nimmon, Rootman, FitzGerald, 2017). Due to the active communication between health care providers, who play an essential function in health promotion, management of chronic disease, and disease prevention, we can reach a sufficient level of HL of public (Poureslami, 2106).

According to the Erickson’s model, middle age defines as the time between ages 35 to 65. Significant physiological and psychological changes that are gradual and inevitable may occur between the ages 40 and 65 years. The physiological and psychosocial changes presented in the middle adulthood may be accompanied by declining of physical strength and the awareness of mortality (Potter &Perry, 2014). Chronic health disorders can arise as an issue accompanied by disability or disease. Successful chronic disease management (CDM) requires patient and health care provider collaboration in which health literacy is foundational.

This partnership less effective when patients do not have the skills to process and act on health information and providers lack the skills and resources to deliver that information in ways that support comprehension and uptake (Poureslami, 2106). The aging population, especially among ethnic groups with chronic diseases, have been found to be at higher risk for misunderstanding their diagnosis, treatment plan, and instructions for self-management. It is crucial to understand better the role of the community and public health in supporting health literacy and chronic disease self-management. Creating community-based education and health public programs that mediate exchange and uptake information (FitzGerald, Poureslami, 2014). The source of many chronic health conditions, including type II diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is behavioral. Furthermore, the successful control of chronic diseases, including asthma, relies on a patient\’s activities and behaviors. Asthma can be well controlled when patients put maximum effort to manage exposures to triggers, maintain constant contact with health care providers, and follow specialists’ recommendations and treatments (Bender, 2015).

Due to the therapeutic relationship between a nurse and a patient, a shared-decision-making approach has demonstrated positive results in practical application in asthma care (Bender, 2105). Providers who practice patient-centered care often utilize a shared decision-making communication plan to examine patients’ perspectives and involve them in making decisions about their health. According to the recent researching, higher adherence and low percentage of urgent care are recorded in the group of patients whose provider received the shared decision-making training in comparison with the other group of asthmatics whose symptoms got worst due to the routine care and guidelines management instructions. (Bender, 2015). Ineffective asthma management is costly for patients’ and taxpayers budget. According to the statistical numbers from National Health Survey of 2014, the number of patients with asthma increased by 28 % from 2001 to 2011. Moreover, the estimated cost of asthma for taxpayers budget was $ 56 billion in 2007 (Mishra, Kashif, Venkatram, George, Luo & Diaz-Fuentes, 2017).

Asthma action plan (AAP) is highly recommended in addition to education to improve outcomes in asthmatics. “To improve asthma management and reduce the number of deaths from the condition, the national guidance recommends that patients are offered a written, personalized asthma action plan (Newell, 2015, p.12). The Asthma Action Plan provides information about asthma stages identifying when symptoms become worse, medication, and what to do in an emergency. The healthcare provider will write asthma plan with an explanation about right using of inhalers and elimination of all triggers (Newell,2015). The nursing process of writing AAP consists of four phases: assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating (Newell, 2015). An individualized written action plan is adjusted to the patient’s asthma severity and treatment. Several studies have shown that asthma education improves outcomes like asthma-related emergency room (ER) utilization and hospitalization, unscheduled doctors’ visits, days off work, and quality of life.

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