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Chronic Illness Management and Health Literacy: An Overview

Chronic Illness Management and Health Literacy: An Overview

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by Michael Villaire and Gloria Mayer

Poor literacy skills can severely compromise effective chronic illness management by the patient. Practitioners’ awareness of the prevalence of low health literacy, or the ability to understand and appropriately act on healthcare instructions, among their patients is a first step toward making changes in the practice to ensure patients understand how to manage their chronic illnesses. Researchers and clinicians in the health literacy field gathered recently at a national health literacy conference and shared techniques used and studied in their practices to aid in more effective providerpatient communications and to help improve outcomes and successful patient management of their chronic illnesses.