WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

UVa Increasing Health Literacy

October 8, 2008

When you leave your doctors appointment do you really understand your diagnosis? Do you have the information you need?

October is health literacy awareness month and the University of Virginia Medical Center is reaching out to the community to help people better understand their health care.

UVa officials say it's important to understand information about your health care because often times low health literacy leads to poor health conditions.

“It tends to make the care of patients with conditions like diabetes, heart failure pulmonary disease worse because for many cases they don't have access to the same level of care or the same self care skills that someone with higher literacy might be able to obtain,” said Michael Pignone, Professor, University of North Carolina Chapel School of Medicine.

That's why UVa is teaching patients as well as health care providers how to obtain the right information and how to use it when they get it.

“One of the programs is with literacy providers so people who teach folks how to read so that they can learn how to read medicine labels and to learn to be safe when they're taking their medicines especially,” said Cindy Westley, UVa Patient Family Education.

UVa officials say health information can be a bit complex, but there are things you can do to increase your health literacy.

“Take advantage of the skills you do have. Write things down keep a list of your questions. Try to come to the health care visits with an agenda of what you want to get out of it. If you don't understand just keep asking questions,” said Pignone.

In addition to taking notes and asking questions officials also suggest taking someone with you to your appointments, that way you have an extra set of ears to listen to information.

UVa is sponsoring two literacy programs on Wednesday October 8th:

• “Overcoming Literacy-Related Barriers to Health”- 12:30 p.m. Jordan Conference Center at UVa Health System.

• “Health Literacy: It Is Not Just Their Problem: What We Can All Do to Help Our Clients Become Better Health Care Consumers” - 3:00 p.m. in room 235 Albemarle County Office Building, McIntire Road.

For more information about the events, please call 434-924-1607.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 30614439