The Importance of Health Literacy in Cancer Care | Fox Chase Cancer Center

A diagnosis of a significant disease like cancer can be frustrating in so many means. Coming to terms with that analysis and comprehending what lies forward can be even extra complicated if we have problems processing and being familiar with the wellbeing information and facts desired to make conclusions about care.

You may perhaps believe the definition of wellbeing literacy is the capability to read overall health facts. But it is a lot additional than that. It is really the critical to getting charge of our overall health.

“Health literacy is remaining capable to understand and employ information and facts so that individuals can make informed choices and participate in their individual health care,” stated Evelyn González, senior director, Business office of Community Outreach at Fox Chase Cancer Center. “So it is not as straightforward as just reading through. It is about getting ready to apply what you are looking through to your medical circumstance (important imagining) and then navigating a health care method.”

And that navigation can be tricky with no very good wellbeing literacy. “Even persons who are educated or operate in the health care discipline can be challenged by it,” reported Stephanie Raivitch, director, health communication systems, Workplace of Neighborhood Outreach at Fox Chase.

Why health and fitness literacy is essential

A extensive knowledge of your affliction and cure selections is essential due to the fact it can influence your means to safely make selections and follow recommendations. This can have an effect on how productive your cure is.

“Health literacy is a better predictor of wellbeing position than quite a few other aspects, which include age, instruction stage, earnings, and racial and ethnic track record,” Raivitch reported. “The far better people today can realize and participate in their health care, the better their results.”

What we do to assist advertise wellness literacy

Health care companies this sort of as Fox Chase perform an essential role in improving upon the health literacy of their patients and the community.

At Fox Chase, we are focused to improving the encounter of our patients and giving them with the methods and being familiar with they need to make selections about their care.

For instance, our clinicians use everyday language when talking about a patient’s diagnosis and procedure and are educated to use the “teach back” method to reinforce a patient’s comprehension of any written content. We also deliver uncomplicated-to-go through products at every position alongside someone’s most cancers journey. These variety from a new patient guidebook that can help orient and navigate them via the system to cure-specific resources that make clear specifically what to count on in advance of, through, and after their treatment.

We also strongly encourage clients and their families and good friends to ask inquiries any time they aren’t very clear about some thing or want additional details. Patients can often say they really don’t realize some thing or question that it be explained in a distinctive way. They can ask for extra sources and to communicate with a overall health educator far too.

“We want to empower persons to get as a lot details about their condition and care as they can,” Raivitch explained. She encourages men and women to ask issues these as:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • What do you endorse?
  • What facet results may possibly I have and how can I handle them?
  • Are there medical trials that could possibly be a fantastic in good shape?
  • What means are offered to me and my caregiver?

In addition, the Lippincott Useful resource and Instruction Middle (REC) presents printed components, videos, and on the internet assets to meet patients’ health literacy wants. The REC is staffed by experienced health educators, and support is offered 5 days a week in person, on the web, or about the cell phone. The educators can respond to thoughts about points like diagnoses, treatments and aspect effects, and cancer hazard.

The services at the REC are open up to individuals, caregivers, and the neighborhood.

“As an establishment, we are devoted to health and fitness literacy,” Raivitch said “We have healthcare facility procedures encompassing how our information and facts is made to make certain that it is composed applying great well being literacy exercise. I assume well being literacy and affected person instruction are a vital component of the in general affected individual knowledge. And at Fox Chase, we are dedicated to earning guaranteed that it’s a good 1!”

If you are getting trouble knowledge your prognosis or any portion of your care, make sure you do not wait to reach out to our Lippincott Source and Education Heart by contacting 214-214-1618 or emailing [email protected]. We can assistance!