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August 09, 2010

Do You Speak to Your Patients in Plain Language?

When you describe diagnoses or treatment protocols to your patients, it may be tempting to use precise, technical medical terms. But many patients, even if they are knowledgeable in their own field, have little background in medical terminology or physiopathology.

The confusion that patients may encounter when they misunderstand medical explanations can have adverse health and economic outcomes. A 2007 University of Connecticut study, described in an article in the publication UConn Advance at http://advance.uconn.edu/2007/071029/07102908.htm, cited delay in seeking treatment, lack of compliance, and greatly increased health care costs as consequences of low health literacy.

The Health Center Library assists patients and families by providing a free, customized research service in response to specific questions patients ask about screening tests, diagnoses, prevention, and treatment. Medical librarians use the Library’s print and online resources to gather information. Information is offered in both easy-to-understand and technical language.

Patients and families may call the Library at 860/679-4055 to access this free service.

Details at http://library.uchc.edu/departm/hnet/research.html

Posted by Robert at August 9, 2010 11:50 AM

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