Jennifer Fisher Wilson
Wilson J.; The Crucial Link between Literacy and Health. Ann Intern Med. 2003;139:875-878. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-139-10-200311180-00038
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(10):875-878.
Ruth Parker, MD, a practicing internist and researcher at Emory University School of Medicine, was years into her medical career before she discovered the importance of literacy in patient care. The revelation came when she was collaborating with a colleague on research in the early 1990s at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, on waiting times in emergency departments. Much to her surprise, some patients completed the rather long surveys in just a few minutes.
“We began to think, there's no way that you could finish this thing so quickly. And it didn't happen just once or twice, it happened a good many times,” Parker said. Confused, she started reading over the surveys with these patients, and she realized that they weren't reading them at all. Rather, they were just haphazardly answering the multiple-choice questions. Incredulous, she approached a hospital administrator and asked what he thought about the patients' ability to fill out surveys. He estimated that at least half of the hospital's patient could not read.
to gain full access to the content and tools.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Cardiology, Endocrine and Metabolism, Hospital Medicine, Infectious Disease, Diabetes.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only