Original Research

Maximising health literacy and client recall of clinical information: An exploratory study of clients and speech-language pathologists

Friderike Schmidt von Wûhlisch, Michelle Pascoe
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 57, No 1 | a46 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v57i1.46 | © 2010 Friderike Schmidt von Wûhlisch, Michelle Pascoe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2010 | Published: 10 December 2010

About the author(s)

Friderike Schmidt von Wûhlisch, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Michelle Pascoe, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Abstract

Limited research has been carried out in the field of speech-language pathology with regard to ways of maximising health literacy and client recall. However, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) frequently provide vast amounts of information that clients need to understand, apply and review in order to manage their (or their child’s) health. This exploratory study aimed to contribute information about ways in which SLPs can overcome low health literacy and poor client recall so that treatment effectiveness is improved. A case-study design was used with specific focus on four clients receiving treatment for dysphagia, voice disorders (including laryngectomies) and cleft lip and/or palate management in Cape Town. Strategies which may be able to maximise health literacy and client recall of clinical information were trialled and evaluated by clients and their SLPs, using semi-structured interviews. The researchers proposed a combination of high-tech strategies which assisted in all the cases. No single solution or universal tool was found that would be appropriate for all. There is a need to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the combined strategies across a wider population, at different stages of rehabilitation and in diverse contexts. Implications and suggestions for future related research are presented.

Keywords

adherence, effectiveness, health literacy, intervention, recall

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