In contemporary health care, patient education is a patient’s right and a health care provider’s responsibility.
Knowledge about one’s disease or condition is in and of itself therapeutic and leads to overall better health outcomes. For example, evidence shows that patients who better understand their pain, and what pain truly is, experience less pain, have less fear, move better, exercise more and can regain hope.
Low health literacy compromises patient safety, quality health care, and desired health outcomes. Specifically, low health literacy is associated with decreased knowledge of one’s medical condition, poor medication recall, non-adherence to treatment plans, poor self-care behaviors, compromised physical and mental health, greater risk of hospitalization, and increased mortality.