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What is clear health communication?

Although definitions of health literacy emphasize individual abilities, health literacy is really about the interaction between individuals and the health care environment. Thus, health care professionals have a responsibility to communicate information in a way that is more readily understood by the average consumer. This is clear health communication.

Clear health communication involves several techniques, such as

  • avoiding medical jargon
  • focusing on just a few key pieces of information
  • engaging patients effectively in the discussion
  • confirming their comprehension

Unfortunately, clear health communication is not the norm in most medical discussions, though it should be.