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Health Literacy From A To Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message Paperback – October 7, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1449600532 ISBN-10: 1449600530 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2 edition (October 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449600530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449600532
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Helen Osborne M.Ed., OTR/L. Recognized for her expertise in health literacy, Helen helps health professionals communicate in ways that patients and their families can understand. She does so through a range of consulting, training, and writing services. Helen is president of Health Literacy Consulting based in Natick, Massachusetts. She is also the founder of Health Literacy Month, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about the importance of understandable health information. In addition, Helen produces and hosts the podcast series, Health Literacy Out Loud. Helen brings clinical experience, educational training, and patient perspective to all her work. She gives health literacy presentations across the United States and Canada as well as overseas. She also serves as a plain language writer/editor on numerous projects. Several of these have won plain language awards from the National Institutes of Health. For many years, Helen was a columnist for theBoston Globe Media s On Call magazine, writing about patient education and healthcare communication. She is the author of several books, including the award-winning Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message -- considered by many as the most important health literacy reference today.

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Customer Reviews

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And every single page offers advice that's worth paying attention to.
Naomi Karten
Poor communication leads to unhappy patients - and increases the risk of being sued for doctors as well.
Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
You can easily just choose a chapter to read, but I ended up reading it cover to cover.
Bonnie Ronan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Naomi Karten on November 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
It drives me nuts when health care professionals describe a medication as reducing the risk of some negative outcome by 50% without also explaining that the risk, to begin with, is only 1 out of 1000. And I'll never forget the doctor who looked at my medical records and told me I was unremarkable - without explaining that "unremarkable" is medical jargon meaning I was in good condition.

These two issues are among the hundreds that Helen Osborne addresses in her book. Osborne is a highly-experienced expert on communication in the health care field. While much of the book is targeted to health care providers, it's also a valuable resource for patients - or anyone who may someday become a patient. The book excels in describing the many factors that influence communication, such as age, culture, emotions, cognition, past experience, current limitations, and ethics.

You can read the book from A to Z, if that's your preferred approach. Or you can look up a topic of interest, such as Document Design, Interpreters and Translations, Listening and Speaking, Numeracy, Visuals, or any of the others, including several important chapters on Knowing Your Audience. My favorite way to read it is to open it up anywhere and read whatever is on that page, because everything in the book is practical what-to-do and how-to-do-it. And every single page offers advice that's worth paying attention to. In addition to strategies, ideas and suggestions, every chapter offers stories and examples and a list of related resources.

Although the focus of this book is health care, most of the wisdom in the book is relevant to communication in other contexts as well, such as communicating to customers and communicating to audiences. Indeed, everyone who cares about communicating so as to understand and be understood can benefit by reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD on December 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Most doctors think they have a great bedside manner; and that they communicate well with their patients. However, the sad reality is that most patients find talking to doctors very frustrating. Doctors use a lot of jargon - and most are not good at explaining concepts such as risk and probability. Poor communication leads to unhappy patients - and increases the risk of being sued for doctors as well.

This is where health literacy comes in. It can bridge the gap between doctors and patients, so that both are on the same page.

Unfortunately , this is a topic with which most doctors are unfamiliar; as a result of which they fail to use simple tools which would help to improve doctor-patient communication.

This book provides a great solution to this ubiquitous problem. It's very well-written; easy to read; and chock-full of facts and information, which can be used daily in clinical practise.

I especially love the Stories from Practise which provide real life examples of how these tools can be used !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Rohret on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I really like the new additions in the Second Edition of Helen's book -- it keeps current with what is happening in our world of technology, recent research, etc. If every communicator used this book as a guide, there would a lot more learning and understanding taking place by patients and clients! Therefore, we would have a healthier world. I highly recommend this easy-to-use and very complete guide.
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