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Health literacy and patient empowerment

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Health literacy and patient empowerment

Health Literacy and Patient Empowerment Affiliation: What is the chronic disease that you have selected? Explain. Was it difficult to find quality information about it? Why or why not?
The chronic disease in discussion is cardiovascular disease as it is currently the leading cause of death in America with over 600, 000 people dying each year from this disease. Finding quality information about the chronic disease was an easy task (Hebda, Czar & Mascara 2012). This can be attributed to the fact that people are becoming more aware of the health implications of the disease and trying to find and give information about it and ways to prevent it as well. The health literacy should therefore be high.
What, according to you, is the health literacy level for each of the selected websites? Is it low, medium, or high? Explain your rating system for the three literacy levels. What are the factors that contribute to the literacy level for individuals?
The three article literacy range from medium to high. The first article by Estruch, et al. (2013) about the diet for those with the chronic disease can be rated as medium as it dwells on only one type of diet and which is limited to people. The second article by Nag & Ghosh (2013) is rated as high as it discusses the rate of this chronic disease in Asia and the risk factors associated with it. This is very important information for prevention. Lastly is the article by Jeemon (2011) which is rated highly as it also provides the socio-economic reasons associated with cause and prevention as well as management of the cardiovascular disease.
What attributes make these sites highly effective in clearly communicating the information necessary for understanding the condition, its effects, and treatment? Would you change or add anything?
People as a result of the statistics on the cardiovascular diseases are running towards technology and medical books to seek every piece of information whether it is on causes, prevention or even management. The articles are peer reviewed and hence people are reviewing them mostly and relying on the information being provided. The information they present are based on research and hence are reliable. The only change would be to add more about the diet on the first article by Estruch, et al. (2013).
What is patient empowerment? How does it relate to health literacy?
Patient empowerment means that a patient of the chronic disease has taken time to learn about the disease and not just rely on what is being fed to him or her by the medical team. They have expansive knowledge on the area and have consulted on the best treatment plan and management methods depending on the stage of the disease or level they are in (Hebda, Czar & Mascara, 2012). A patient that is empowered is highly literate when it comes to health literacy. He or she has a wide array of knowledge that can even be used to teach others such as relatives.
What are the issues involved in the patient or provider relationships when promoting patient empowerment?
When it comes to patient empowerment, some of the patients are initially reluctant to be informed of the treatment plans. Some are hopeless about living and especially positively with the disease to an extent that they have despaired and do not want to be given any information. There are also those patients that have researched about the disease on the internet in even sites that are not peer reviewed hence lacking the correct information. When trying to be empowered therefore, they argue about the facts hindering further communication.
What, according to you, could be the three effective strategies to increase health literacy for specific populations?
The older generation can be taught health literacy in their various social groups as they are bound to stay and listen and also gather a lot from the questions and experiences the members of these groups will portray. As for the younger generation still in school, health literary can be incorporated in their curriculum which would ensure they learn a lot and they understand through tests. Their brains are still not stressed and hence they can learn quickly and are likely to not forget.
Estruch, R. et al. (2013). Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. New England Journal of Medicine, 368: 1279-1290.
Hebda, T., Czar, P. & Mascara, C. (2012). Handbook of Informatics for Nurses and Health Care Professionals. New York: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Jeemon, P. (2011, June). Socio-economic status and cardiovascular risk among Indians. Preventive Medicine, 52(6): 471-472.
Nag, T. & Ghosh, A. (2013, December). Cardiovascular disease risk factors in Asian Indian population: A systematic review. Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, 4(4): 222-228.

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