Advancing health literacy in clinical research: clear communications for every participant
Champion sponsor of the Annual Meeting
Reported by Devorah Weinstock
- Sylvia Baedorf Kassis, Program Manager, Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard
In clinical research, it is important to convey health information effectively to healthcare providers; however, it is equally important to communicate health information clearly to patients.
“Nine of 10 people in the USA need extra help in understanding health information.”Sylvia Baedorf Kassis
Research has shown that 9 of 10 people in the USA need extra help in understanding health information; these statistics are similar in other locations around the world.
Integrating health literacy principles during clinical trial life cycles can be of great benefit. Techniques include using plain language, considering the cultural backgrounds of patients, applying interactive techniques to learn and to understand patients’ literacy abilities, assessing literacy usability, and tailoring numbers such as statistics, risks and probabilities to patients’ understanding.
Apply these principles and watch the benefits unfold! There can be a greater awareness of research and increased participation in research studies. There will probably be improved adherence to study procedures. Patients will likely exhibit higher levels of satisfaction with the research experience, in addition to recommending study participation to others. This can also be a strategy to reduce participant attrition.
Finally, patients active in their care tend to have better health outcomes. Recognizing patients as experts and facilitating improved healthcare communication can foster collaboration and provide benefits to all involved.