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#Hchlitss Chat on Health Literacy, Caregivers & Self Efficacy on Medication Adherence

I was honored to serve as a guest on the popular Health Communication, Health Literacy, & Social Science (#hchlitss) chat on Twitter, discussing topics  from caregiving, health literacy  to medication compliance and literacy.

I was representing my role as caregiver, a clinical pharmacist and the co-founder of CareNovateMag.com.  The #hchlitss Chats is a once a week chat, usually on Thursdays at 8 p.m ET.

Why the topic on health literacy & medication adherence?

There’s a huge need to discuss the negative impact of low health literacy and patient outcomes

  • Low health literacy is an enormous cost burden on the American healthcare system – annual health care costs for people with low literacy skills are 4 times higher than those with higher literacy skills
  • Problems with patient compliance and medical errors may be based on poor understanding of health care information. Only about 50% of all patients take medications as directed.
  • Patients with low health literacy and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or hypertension, have less knowledge of their disease and its treatment and fewer correct self-management skills than literate patients.
  • Patients with low literacy skills were observed to have a 50% increased risk of hospitalization, compared with patients who had adequate literacy skills

About #hchlitss hosts:

Kathleen is a health communications specialist with expertise in message development, tailoring, health literacy, quantitative (survey) and qualitative (focus groups, interviews) research. Kathleen believes in the power of health communication to extend health literacy and patient advocacy and is endeavoring to achieve this through blogging at Health Communications and tweeting as @drkdhoffman as well as participating in other social media venues.

R.V. Rikard is a Doctoral Candidate (PhD, 2012) in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at North Carolina State University. His research areas include health literacy and health disparities as well as medical care for institutional populations, community context and health, rural health care and aging. He is passionate about health literacy adding his expertise to the Communities & Health Disparities project (http://chd.ncsu.edu) and as a member of the Wake Health Literacy Coalition.

Several questions framed the exciting & informative 1 hour Twitter chat

1.  How do *you* define health literacy?
2. Is the #health literacy of #caregivers connected to the people they take care of? If so, how is it connected?
3. What is the evidence on #medication errors of #caregivers low #health literacy?
4. What tools do you recommend for #caregivers?
5. Are there specific drug interactions that you have seen that caregivers need to be aware of?
6. How important is #caregiver self-efficacy for #medication adherence?
7. What have you encountered in indigent populations in terms of medication compliance?

It was a great chat and met some new people.

A summary of the Tweetchat is here, titled “Pharmacists as Partners.”

You can find the full transcript of the Twitter chat on the #hchlitss blog.

Let us know what you think? What is your definition of health literacy?

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