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Health Literacy Strategies for Shared Decision-Making

presented by Emily Elliott, PT, DPT, MTC

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Emily Elliott is an employee at CORA Physical Therapy.

Nonfinancial: Emily Elliott has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 19 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 21 Minutes

In today's healthcare climate, with declining reimbursement structures and increasing demand for improved outcomes, therapists are challenged to do more with less. Shared decision-making is a collaborative communication strategy that doesn't add more time to your visit but can be challenging if your patient has trouble understanding healthcare information. This course, designed for physical and occupational therapists as well as speech language pathologists and athletic trainers, will explore the impact of low health literacy in a therapy setting and provide easy-to-adopt application strategies like plain language, prioritizing key topics, and visual aids that can make a big impact on outcomes.

Meet Your Instructor

Emily Elliott, PT, DPT, MTC

Emily Elliott received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and her Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Her clinical experience is diverse, spanning patient populations from ortho to neuro to peds, primarily in outpatient settings. Over the…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. What Is Health Literacy, and Why Does It Matter?

Health literacy is the ability to understand and communicate health information, yet research tells us it is more uncommon than you'd think. Learn how low health literacy can impact your ability to include patients in healthcare decisions in therapy, like goal setting and treatment selection. This chapter will explore how to define and recognize low health literacy through lecture and role-playing.

2. Plain Language

The words that you choose matter. Through lecture and role-playing scenarios, learn how adopting plain language in your communication at any visit can facilitate better therapeutic alliance and comprehension.

3. Focus on What Matters

When our patients have low health literacy rates, they can easily get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information. This chapter helps you prioritize which topics to share and repeat so the patient leaves each visit knowing what is going on, what to do about it, and why it matters.

4. Visual Aids

Visual aids are a powerful tool for addressing low health literacy. This chapter will explore through lecture and role-playing the different types of visual aids, many of which are free, such as sketches, medical illustrations, videos, and 3D models.

5. Putting Health Literacy Into Practice

This final chapter will summarize the three health literacy strategies addressed in the course and challenge the learner to set goals to make changes in their own practice.

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