Communication Techniques for Patients With Low Health Literacy: A Survey of Physicians, Nurses, and Pharmacists
Objective: To explore the self-reported techniques used by health care professionals to enhance communication with patients with low health literacy.
Methods: A survey was administered to physicians (n=99), nurses (n=87), and pharmacists (n=121) attending continuing education programs on patient safety and health care quality. Each was asked to rate communication-enhancing strategies by frequency of use and effectiveness with patients with low health literacy.
Results: Using simple language (94.7%), handing out printed materials (70.3%), and speaking more slowly (67.3%) were the most commonly used strategies. Strategies currently recommended by health literacy experts were less routinely used.
Conclusions: Further research is needed that evaluates the effectiveness of communication strategies for patients with limited literacy skills within diverse clinical encounters.
American Journal of Health Behavior
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Schwartzberg, J.G., Cowett, A., VanGeest, J., & Wolf, M. S. (2007). Communication techniques for patients with low health literacy: a survey of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. American Journal of Health Behavior, 31(supp), S96-S104.