My thesis project addresses medical errors caused by unclear communications between doctors and patients with low English literacy. More than one-third of American adults have only basic or below-basic literacy in health matter. They tend to have difficulties understanding medical instruction and it sometimes leads to fatal medical accidents. I would like to design something that bridges communication gaps between doctors and patients with limited literacy to decrease tragic medical errors.
Christina Zarcadoolas, Andrew F. Pleasant, David S Greer. Advancing health literacy: a framework for understanding and action. :Jossey-Bass, 2006
Joanne G Schwartzberg, Jonathan VanGeest, Claire Wang. Understanding health literacy: implications for medicine and public health. :American Medical Association, 2005
Lynn Nielsen-Bohlman, Health literacy: a prescription to end confusion. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005
Those three books above are categorized into the same kind. They mainly talk about what is health literacy is in a very academic manner. They examine a number of case studies applying professional knowledge. Some of them seem to be too academic for me since I don’t have medical backgrounds at all, but I can still get the sense of what health literacy is and what its cause is at deep level. Also a number of statistics in those books are really helpful in determining the problem.
Helen Osborne. Health literacy from A to Z: practical ways to communicate your health. : Jones and Bartlett, 2005
In this book, there are a lot of examples of how to communicate patients with limited literacy. All those techniques are very clear and practical. What I like about this book is the all information is based on actual experiences of doctors in hospitals.
The Harvard School of Public Health: Health Literacy Studies Web Site. June 2007. Harvard School of Public Health. 29 Sep. 2008 <http:www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy>.
This is the website of The Harvard School of Public Health. I found it very informative in many ways. This health literacy study project conducted by Department of Society, Human Development, and health is actually an ongoing project, so I can expect the most current information about my issue from them as they upload new materials on their website. The other thing I like about this website is the fact that we can view videotapes and images related to health literacy problem on line as well as written text. This visually gives us the more clear understanding of the issue.