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Health Literacy And The Health Care Professional


Communication between providers and patients is of paramount importance. Often, physicians and other clinicians express frustration with noncompliant patients and tend to blame these patients for their lack of compliance. In many cases, however, the patients simply are deficient in health literacy and do not communicate this to their healthcare provider. There are many factors that contribute to this disconnect between patient and clinician. Adult patients often feel intimidated by their provider and do not want to appear as if they don’t know what he or she is asking them to do. Often, providers will make assumptions about a patient’s level of health literacy based on factors such as race, age, and ethnicity. However people of all socioeconomic levels and categories may need help understanding providers’ instructions. Providers must show awareness, have an open-minded attitude, and give instructions that are easily understood by patients.