In the News

On this page you will find the latest news on what’s happening in the world of patient engagement and health literacy.

The Link Between Health Literacy & Cancer Communication

August 20, 2019 (ONCOLOGY TIMES)

In an era of increasingly complex advances in oncology, how can health professionals help cancer patients with low health literacy better understand their diagnoses and treatment options? In an effort to improve cancer communication strategies with patients, the National Cancer Policy Forum (NCPF) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) convened a meeting of invited speakers in Washington, D.C. The event was held in collaboration with the NAS Roundtable on Health Literacy.

You can read the full article here.

Patient-Provider Communication: Shared Decision-Making Enhances Care

August 06, 2019 (Specialty Pharmacy Times)

Effective patient-provider communication results in optimum patient outcomes and includes shared decision-making between the patient and provider, weighing the pros and cons of treatment, and making an informed decision as a result. As a 24-year survivor of terminal leukemia, I favor this type of mutual respect regardless of the provider’s specialty or role. From my experiences with providers, shared decision-making, or patient centeredness, provides more empowerment for the patient and fosters trust and confidence in the health care provider.

You can read the full article here.

Organizational Health Literacy: Quality Improvement Measures with Expert Consensus

July 3, 2019 (

The health care system is complex. Health care organizations can make things easier for patients by making changes to improve communication and to help patients find their way around, become engaged in the health care process, and manage their health.

We sought to identify and evaluate existing OHL-related QI measures. To complement prior efforts to develop measures based on patient-reported data, we sought to identify measures computed from clinical, administrative, QI, or staff-reported data. Our goal was to develop a set of measures that experts agree are valuable for informing OHL-related QI activities. We identify 22 measures that organizations can use to monitor their efforts to improve communication with and support for patients.

You can read the full article here.

Health Literacy Positively Associated With Health-Related QOL in Patients With COPD

July 2, 2019 (AJMC)

Increased health literacy is associated with positive health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes in chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

“Although previous research has shown a relatively high prevalence of low health literacy among individuals living with COPD, little attention has been directed at exploring the cognitive and health literacy- related skills that can influence patients HRQoL… Findings from this study indicated that health literacy, but not eHealth literacy, was positively associated with generic HRQOL.”

You can read the full article here.

Health-care providers join social media to dispel misconceptions, offer inspiration

June 18, 2019 (The Columbus Dispatch)

Looking for a tool to combat online misinformation and misconceptions he heard from patients, Dr. Dave Stukus turned to relatives for advice.

His brother-in-law suggested Twitter.

Though unfamiliar with the social medium, Stukus took a leap of faith and joined Twitter in 2013, meeting many families where they were going for health information.

“People have done a good job of documenting that not only are people going online for this information but also the amount of bad information out there,” said Stukus, a pediatric allergy and asthma specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. “There is a lot of snake oil being sold online.”

You can read the full article here.

Social determinants of health: What medical students need to know

June 14, 2019 (American Medical Association)

Where your patients were born, where they work, play and grow older all have a big impact on what their health outcomes will be, with research showing that a person’s overall health is mostly driven by social, economic and environmental factors.

You can read the full article here.

Never Say ‘Die’: Why So Many Doctors Won’t Break Bad News

June 12, 2019 (Kaiser Health News)

Dr. Ron Naito, an internist in Portland, Ore., was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in August 2018. His doctor wouldn’t confirm the terminal diagnosis, even though Naito read the test results and understood what they meant. (Michael Hanson for KHN)

You can read the full article here.

Solicitation for Written Comments on an Updated Health Literacy Definition for Healthy People 2030

June 4, 2019 (Office of the Federal Register)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides notice of a request for comments about the proposed update to the definition of health literacy. The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for Healthy People 2030 used the following working definition: “Health literacy occurs when a society provides accurate health information and services that people can easily find, understand, and use to inform their decisions and actions.”

You can read the full announcement here.


Last modified: 08/27/19