Patients with cancer are often faced with complex diagnoses that require decision making in a highly stressful environment. The role of the healthcare team is to ensure that patients have the information, tools, and resources needed to make informed decisions. However, low health literacy is a common and undervalued factor in the outcomes of patients, particularly those with cancer.
At a Glance
- An individual’s health literacy depends on various factors, such as education, culture, and complexity of the information.
- Oncology nurses are in a unique position to role model and apply best practices for health literacy using evidence-based oral and written communication strategies with their patients.
- Implementing the fundamentals of universal precautions and the teach-back method are effective deterrents to the negative outcomes associated with low health literacy.