Addressing Barriers to Care: Improving Patient Health Literacy

The medical lexicon and associated jargon are both dense, complicated, filled with data, and often difficult to navigate for patients who may receive news about their diagnoses or condition while in a negative emotional state. The extent to which they comprehend this information relies on their health literacy, which corresponds to their ability to gain access to, understand, and use information to promote and maintain good health for themselves, their families, as well as their communities. Health literacy includes the ability to read and comprehend essential health-related materials, such as prescription bottles, post-appointment slips, and educational literature.

Having adequate health literacy can increase a patient’s capacity to take responsibility for their and their family’s health. Individuals who lack health literacy may encounter challenges in understanding health information, including hospital discharge and treatment instructions, which may have detrimental effects on their health outcomes.  Continue reading

Mental Health Month: The Impact of Brain Aging and Health on Mental Health

May marks the beginning of Mental Health Month an observance dedicated to spreading awareness of mental health conditions that are becoming increasingly prevalent across the global population. As the body of research concerning the wide-ranging impact of mental illness continues to grow, the correlation between brain health, the process of brain aging, and mental health becomes clearer. While mental health is just one of many important facets of overall brain health, emerging evidence points to its significance in promoting healthy brain aging.

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National Nurses Month: Supporting Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

The month of May honors National Nurses Month a time designated to recognize the incredible contributions nurses make to the field, particularly during the increased strain they have endured throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In early 2020, the pandemic turned nurses and other healthcare personnel into frontline responders, forcing them to contend with caring for COVID-19 patients, insufficient personal protective equipment, grueling work hours, and other factors contributing to exponentially rising rates of burnout.

Today, nurses and other healthcare professionals continue to grapple with the global pandemic and its repercussions on the healthcare system, one of which is the magnified visibility of institutional failures. Effects of such failures are widespread and include the tremendous burden placed on frontline nurses throughout the past year, severely impacting their mental and physical wellbeing. With endless reports of overwhelmed and exhausted practitioners flooding the news, supporting nurses and their fellow medical professionals has never been more important.

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