Article

Health Literacy and the Disenfranchised: The Importance of Collaboration Between Limited English Proficiency and Health Literacy Researchers

a Family Medicine Research Programs, Department of Family Medicine , University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry , Rochester , New York , USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 10/2012; 17 Suppl 3:7-12. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2012.712627
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inadequate health literacy and limited English proficiency are associated with poor health care access and outcomes. Despite what appears to be an interaction phenomenon-whereby the rate of inadequate health literacy is particularly high among limited English proficiency populations-researchers in health literacy and limited English proficiency rarely collaborate. As a result, few health literacy instruments and interventions have been developed or validated for smaller linguistic populations. Interventions to improve health outcomes for people with low health literacy and limited English proficiency show great potential to alleviate many of the health disparities currently experienced by some of the most disenfranchised individuals in our health care system, those from smaller linguistic minority groups, including Deaf American Sign Language users. It is critical for health literacy and limited English proficiency researchers to work together to understand how culture, language, literacy, education, and disabilities influence health disparities and health outcomes. It is important to ensure that research is collaborative and inclusive in order to broaden the reach of future interventions to smaller linguistic minority populations.

1 Follower
 · 
132 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We are pleased to present this special issue on health literacy of the Journal of Health Communication. The journal continues to demonstrate a deep commitment to this important topic, offering a venue to exhibit leading health literacy research for the third year in a row. We hope that this special issue helps guide the overall direction of the field and serves as a springboard for lively discussion, innovative research, and practice initiatives.
    Journal of Health Communication 10/2012; 17 Suppl 3:2-6. DOI:10.1080/10810730.2012.717816 · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parent administration of multiple medications with overlapping active ingredients places children at risk for overdose. We sought to examine how parents use active ingredient information as part of the process of selecting a cough/cold medication for their child and how health literacy plays a role. Experimental study of parents of children presenting for care in an urban public hospital pediatric clinic. Parents were asked to determine which of 3 cough/cold medications could be given to relieve a child's cold symptoms, as part of a scenario in which they had already given a dose of acetaminophen; only 1 did not contain acetaminophen. Primary dependent variable: correct selection of cough/cold medication by using active ingredient as the rationale for choice. Primary independent variable: parent health literacy (Newest Vital Sign test). Of 297 parents, 79.2% had low health literacy (Newest Vital Sign score 0-3); 35.4% correctly chose the cough/cold medication that did not contain acetaminophen. The proportion of those who made the correct choice was no different than expected from chance alone (Goodness of fit test; χ(2) = 2.1, P = .3). Only 7.7% chose the correct medication and used active ingredient as the rationale. Those with adequate literacy skills were more likely to have selected the correct medication and rationale (25.8% vs 3.0% (P = .001); adjusted odds ratio 11.1 (95% confidence interval 3.6-33.7), after we adjusted for sociodemographics, including English proficiency and education. Many parents, especially those with low health literacy, do not use active ingredient information as part of decision-making related to administering multiple medications.
    Academic pediatrics 05/2013; 13(3):229-35. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2013.01.004 · 2.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users represent a small population at risk for marginalization from research and surveillance activities resulting from cultural, language, and ethical challenges. The Deaf community's view of deafness as a cultural identity, rather than a disability, contradicts the medical community's perception of deafness as a disease or deficiency in need of correction or elimination. These differences continue to have significant cultural and social implications within the Deaf community, resulting in mistrust of research opportunities. Two particularly contentious ethical topics for the Deaf community are the absence of community representation in genetic research and the lack of accessible informed consents and research materials. This article outlines a series of innovative strategies and solutions to these issues, including the importance of community representation and collaboration with researchers studying deaf populations. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print October 17, 2013: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301343).
    American Journal of Public Health 10/2013; 103(12). DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301343 · 4.23 Impact Factor