Health Literacy Essay

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NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

Select any type of health education material utilized at your place of employment, health care provider’s office, or hospital; such as a pamphlet or handout. 1.Define health literacy. 2.Identify who is at risk for low health literacy in your community (based on community demographics and risk factors known in the literature for low health literacy). 3.Analyze the impact of low literacy on health promotion and health education. 4.Describe the SMOG Formula. 5.Analyze an education document using the SMOG Formula (SMOG Readability Calculator: http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp (Links to an external site.)) (Links to an external site.) Calculate the literacy level of the selected education document and present findings. 6.Evaluate the appropriateness of the education document for the target population (link back to item 3 – who is at risk). 7.Explain and justify recommendations to enhance the readability of the educational material 8.Provide a link to the document you are evaluating or upload a copy within the drop box. 9.Write an APA style paper to communicate items 1-8. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

NSG 4210 Health Literacy

        Various health education materials are utilized in organizations to achieve different goals. In this case, a document about COVID-19 was utilized to create awareness about the virus and several preventive measures. However, individual’s capacity to understand this document greatly depends on health literacy level. This paper will discuss the concept of health literacy in detail. First, health literacy will be defined. Besides, the report will discuss the population at risk of health literacy in the community. It will also discuss how health promotion and health education are affected by low health literacy. Moreover, the paper will describe the SMOG Formula. Additionally, the SMOG Formula will be used to analyze the education documentwhere the selected education document’s literacy level will be calculated. Furthermore, the document will assess the appropriateness of the education document for the target population. Finally, recommendations for improving the readability of the education document will be covered. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

Health Literacy

        The term health literacy was initially proposed in the 1970s, following an increase in the demands of promoting and maintaining public health(Liu et al., 2020).Health literacy refers to the extent to which a person can obtain, process, understand, and communicate necessary health information and services, thus making appropriate health decisions.Morrow and Chin(2015) described health literacy as the capacity of an individual to find, communicate, understand, and act on information that is required to navigate the health-care system to support health decision making. More so, health literacy refers to the ability of an individual to obtain and use health information. It includes various basic skills, such as writing, reading, mathematics, and speaking. Additionally, it includes cognition skills such asself-efficacy and health motivation (Berkowsky& Czaja,2018). Health literacy is significant in various situations of peoples’ personal lives and in other capacities as patients and community members. Therefore, individuals require health literacy skills in health and sickness. However, the significance of health literacy skills varies across five domains of peoples’ lives, including health care, home and community, politics, work, and the market and business transactions. Various lifestyle diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, are associated with low health literacy. Moreover, lower health literacy leads to health disparities in most populations, poor adherence, alcohol and drug abuse, and premature mortality.Therefore, improving health literacy is beneficial to individuals and the entire community. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

The population at the Risk of Lower Health Literacy

The risk of lower health literacy varies among different demographics in the community. In my community, at risk for low health literacy is relatively high among older patients. Currently, the fastest growth rate in the US is reported among the elderly population aged 65 and above. It is expected that this population will represent approximately 20% of the total US population by 2030(Chesser et al., 2016). The 2003 National Assessment indicated that only 3% of older adults aged 65 years and above have proficient health literacy skills(Chesser et al., 2016). The decrease in health literacy among this group is associated with various age-related changes. Despite variations in severity and rates of age-related changes among individuals, some factors contribute to lower health literacy among older adults in the community. First, lower health literacy is attributed to a decline incognitive ability among older adults. Reduced cognitive ability compromises their capacity to comprehend and recall new concepts and topics. Physical impairments such as loss of vision and hearing difficulties lower their ability to read, process, understand and communicate health information. Moreover, psychosocial factors, including coping and socioeconomic status, influence their capacity to negatively understandhealth information (Chesser et al., 2016). Regrettably, lower health literacy among the elderly population is anticipated to worsen as the gap in cognitive and physical ability between the older and younger generations widens. Consequently, effective communication conduits are reduced, thus complicating health literacy among older patients further. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

In addition to older adults, at risk of lower health literacy is high among individuals with limited formal education. The level of health literacy is relatively lower among individuals with only primary or basic education than among those with high education due to their inability to read and understand health education literature(Hickey et al., 2018). Other populations at risk of lower health literacy include individuals with lower income, members of minority groups, non-native English speakers, and people with chronic conditions, such as heart disease.

The Impact of Low Literacy on Health Promotion and Health Education

Low heath literacy has an adverse effect on health promotion and health education. Health literacy is not simply health knowledge. The comprehensive definition and conceptualization of health literacy affect health promotion and health education. First, functional health literacy concentrates on the way in which health-related information is communicated. Besides, interactive health literacy focuses on developing personal skills, which are required to create a healthy environment. Thirdly, critical health literacy primarily focuseson empowering individuals and the entire community (Stars, 2018). Consequently, low health literacy affects health promotion and health educationdirectly and indirectly. On direct effects, an individual with low literacy skills cannot read and understand safety precautions and workplace guidelines. Also, one cannot read and comprehend instructions and guidelines for preventative care, such as publications on the role of regular exercises, and a healthy diet is limiting lifestyle diseases. Moreover, individuals with low health literacy skills have difficulties in adhering to medical directions. For instance, a diabetic person with a low health literacy level experiences difficulty adhering to prescribed treatment. On the other hand, low health literacy has some indirect effects on health promotion and health education. First, individuals with low literacy skills fail to seek treatment in the early stages of their illness. Also, less exercise, a high rate of drug and alcohol abuse, and poorer nutrition are experienced among individuals with low literacy skills. Lastly, individuals with low literacy skills are not likely to practice breast self-examination, have a PAP test,or have a blood a regular blood pressure check. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

A Description of the SMOG Formula

        The SMOG (Simple Measure of Gobbledygook) Readability Formula is asimple technique that is used by individuals to determine the reading level of a particular written material.This formula was developed by Harry McLaughlinin 1969 through an article titled SMOG Grading – A New Readability Formula in the Journal of Reading. It estimates the number of education years that a person requires to understand a particular piece of writing. The SMOG formula was primarily created to improveother readability formulas. The formula has five steps, which are utilized to determine the readability of a particular material. The first step involves taking the entire text that is supposed to be assessed. In the second step, the user counts 10 sentences in a row at three sections of the document, including near the beginning, in the middle, and in the end to get a total of 30 sentences. The third step involves counting every word that has three or more syllables in each category of the selected sentences. A word is counted even if it appears more than once in the chosen sentences. The square root of the number arrived in step three is calculated in step four. The answer is then rounded off to 10. The last step involves adding 3 to the figure arrived at in step 4 to get the SMOG Grade. SMOG Grade indicates the reading grade that must be reached by a person for him or her to understand the text being assessed fully. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

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The Analysis of an Education Document using the SMOG Formula

The document being analyzed is a health education material utilized at my workplace to create awareness about Covid-19 among the employees. The analysis will be done in a series of five steps.

Step 1

This step involves taking the entire text being assessed. In this case, the document to be assessed is COVID-19.

Step 2

Ten sentences in a row at three sections of the document are counted. These parts of the document include at the beginning, in the middle, and in the end to get a total of 30 sentences.

Ten Sentences at the Beginning of the Document

“What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 stands for “coronavirus disease, 2019.” It is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus first appeared in late 2019 and quickly spread around the world.

People with COVID-19 can have a fever, cough, trouble breathing, and other symptoms. Problems with breathing happen when the infection affects the lungs and causes pneumonia (figure 1). NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

Are there different variants of COVID-19?

Yes. Viruses constantly change or “mutate.” When this happens, a new strain or “variant” can form. Most of the time, new variants do not change the way a virus works. But when a variant has changed in important parts of the virus, it can act differently.

In late 2020 a new variant was discovered in the United Kingdom. It has since been found in other”

Ten Sentences at the Middle of the Document

“Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, and eyes.

Avoid traveling if you can. Some experts recommend not traveling to or from certain areas where there are a lot of cases of COVID-19. But any form of travel, especially if you spend time in crowded places like airports, increases your risk.

If you do need to travel, be sure to check whether there are any rules about COVID-19 in the area you are visiting. In the United States, some places require people to “self-quarantine” for some length of time if they are visiting (or returning) from another state. This means not going out in public or being around other people. These rules are meant to help prevent new cases of COVID-19. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

Why is social distancing so important?

Keeping people away from each other is one of the best ways to control the spread of the virus that”

Ten Sentences at the End of the Document

“To:

Take breaks from the news.

Get regular exercise and eat healthy foods.

Find activities that you enjoy and can do at home.

Stay in touch with your friends and family members.

It might also help to remember that by doing things like staying home, wearing a mask, and avoiding gatherings, you help protect other people in your community.

Keep in mind that most people do not get severely ill from COVID-19. It helps to be prepared, and it’s important to do what you can to lower your risk and help slow the spread of the virus. But try not to panic.”

Step 3

The third step involves counting every word that has three or more syllables in each category of the selected sentences. A word will be counted even if it appears more than once in the chosen sentences.

Wordswith three or more syllables inten sentences at the beginning of the document = 50

Words with three or more syllables in ten sentences in the middle of the document = 50

Word with three or more syllables in ten sentences at the end of the document = 30

Total= 110

Step 4

Step 4 involves calculating the square root of the number that arrived in step three. The answer is then rounded off to 10.

The square root of 110 = 10. 48. Rounded off to 10 = 10

Step 5

This last step involves adding 3 to the figure arrived at in step 4 to get the SMOG Grade. In this case, three will be added to 10 to get 13. Therefore, the SMOG Grade is 13. Thus, a person must reach 13 for him or her to understand this document fully.

The Appropriateness of the Education Document for the Target Population

The document targets the elderly population due to its lower health literacy. It aims at educating them about COVID-19 and various preventive measures, thus reducing their probability of contracting the virus. The SMOG Grade of this document is 13, which is relatively high. Therefore, this document is not appropriate for the elderly population. The inability of elderly people to reach grade 13 prevents them from understanding this document. Consequently, COVID-19 preventive measures will not be communicated to this patient population. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

Recommendations

The readability of this educational material can be facilitated by using shorter words with less than three syllables. This action will lower the SMOG Grade to approximately 4 or 5.It will be relatively easy for the elderly population to read and understand a document with such a low-grade level. Consequently, awareness regarding COVID-19 will be created among the elderly population, thus preventing them from contracting the virus.

Conclusion

Health literacy is the extent to which a person is able to obtain, process, understand, and communicate basic health information and services, thus making appropriate health decisions. The risk of health literacy in the community is relatively high among the elderly population due to various factors such as the decline in cognitive ability and psychosocial factors. Low health literacy has an adverse effect on health promotion and health education. Individuals at the risk of low health literacy cannot read and understand various education materials that communicate various preventive measures to promote health. The SMOG formula has been used to analyze theeducation document. The literacy level of the selected education document is 13. This level is relatively high, indicating that the document is appropriate for the elderly population. The readability of the education document will be improved by using shorter words with less than three syllables, which will, in turn, lower the SMOG Grade to approximately 4 or 5.It will be relatively easy for the elderly population to read and understand a document with such a low-grade level. NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay

References

Berkowsky, R. W., & Czaja, S. J. (2018). Challenges associated with online health information seeking among older adults. In Aging, technology and health (pp. 31-48). Academic Press.

Chesser, A. K., Keene Woods, N., Smothers, K., & Rogers, N. (2016). Health literacy and older adults: a systematic review. Gerontology and geriatric medicine, 2, 2333721416630492.

Hickey, K. T., Creber, R. M. M., Reading, M., Sciacca, R. R., Riga, T. C., Frulla, A. P., & Casida, J. M. (2018). Low health literacy: Implications for managing cardiac patients in practice. The Nurse Practitioner, 43(8), 49.

Liu, C., Wang, D., Liu, C., Jiang, J., Wang, X., Chen, H., … & Zhang, X. (2020). What is the meaning of health literacy? A systematic review and qualitative synthesis. Family medicine and community health, 8(2).

Morrow, D., & Chin, J. (2015). Decision making and health literacy among older adults. In Aging and decision making (pp. 261-282). Academic Press.

Stars, I. (2018). Health literacy as a challenge for health education. SHS Web of Conferences 40, https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20184002004

NSG 4210 Health Literacy Essay