The concept of health literacy evolved from a history of defining, redefining, and quantifying the functional literacy needs of the adult population. Along with these changes has come the recognition that sophisticated literacy skills are increasingly needed to function in society and that low literacy may have an effect on health and health care. We present a brief history of literacy in the United States, followed by a discussion of the origins and conceptualization of health literacy. Increased attention to this important issue suggests the need to review existing definitions of the term "health literacy," because despite the growing interest in this field, one question that persists is, "What is health literacy?"
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Well, and this is where it becomes really complicated because consumers are used to seeing costs or charges related to quality. So if we look at Yelp, for example, we'll say OK, a four-dollar-sign restaurant is probably higher quality than a two-dollar-sign restaurant, and they might make that same assumption about health care, too.
And so just as Jordan said, there's not really great research out there showing that the difference in the quality is as vast as the difference in the charges. So what - while we do hope that price transparency is an initial first step, one concern is that people actually start flocking to higher-cost hospitals or higher-charge hospitals thinking that it offers better care, and that might not be the case at all.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
I was reading this article this morning while eating breakfast:
I think the oddest part of this, which I'd never heard before, was how Tony Blair declined to talk about giving the vaccine to his old children, even though he did. That's so strange, behaviorally, and likely contributed to doubts around the vaccine... Just wanted to point to this given that new (at least to me) bit of info.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Deadline for abstracts is July 8. More info here.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
"The sad part is, by focusing on the question of whether vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders, they're missing the opportunity to look at what the real causes are," she says. "It's not vaccines."I thought the pull quote in this NPR story was really impactful. The story covered recent research indicating the number of early childhood vaccines isn't linked to autism. The story was quite realistic in how some skeptics are just never going to be swayed by research like this, which seems to be a newer feature of stories like this. (At least I don't remember them usually being there.)
The other bit of the story that was interesting, from a health communication point of view, was this:
Autism Speaks, a major advocacy and research group, seems ready to move beyond the vaccine issue. Geraldine Dawson, the group's top scientist, praised the new study and says the result should clear the way for research on other potential causes of autism.Sooner or later I'm going to do a study on vaccines and autism, because the topic is endlessly fascinating to me. In this case, I wonder how a group like Autism Speaks coming out with a statement like this shifts the views of some of those hardcore skeptics. Is it a more trusted source for information? Or is there a view that they've been co-opted in some way by the "powers that be" to say something like this?
Interesting story, and great news that researchers are working hard to disprove these kinds of myths.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Owing to its utility in guiding the planning and evaluation of health promotion campaigns, the Theory of Planned Behavior was used to implement a 1-month campaign aimed at increasing handwashing among college students. Based on observations of bathroom users' handwashing behavior (n = 1,005) and an online survey (n = 188), overall handwashing did not increase as a result of the campaign; however, more students did use soap (58% vs 70%). Future campaigns designed to increase handwashing behavior in students may be advised to target messages according to gender difference–based responsiveness to handwashing norms.This project was a ton of fun to work on, starting with a class project around promoting hand washing on campus all the way through developing the materials we used on this project and actually observing the changes in hand washing behavior.
You can get it at the AJIC website here. The reference is:
Mackert, M., Liang, M., & Champlin, S. (2013) “Think the Sink:” Development and Preliminary Evaluation of a Campus Hand Washing Campaign. American Journal of Infection Control. (41) 3, 275-277. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.03.023