In JCO clinical cancer informatics
Given the impact of health literacy (HL) on patients' outcomes, limited health literacy is a major barrier to improve cancer care globally. HL refers to the degree in which an individual is able to acquire, process, and comprehend information in a way to be actively involved in their health decisions. Previous research found that almost half of the population in developed countries have difficulties in understanding health-related information. With the gradual shift toward the shared decision making process and digital transformation in oncology, the need for addressing low HL issues is crucial. Decision making in oncology is often accompanied by considerable consequences on patients' lives, which requires patients to understand complex information and be able to compare treatment methods by considering their own values. How health information is perceived by patients is influenced by various factors including patients' characteristics and the way information is presented to patients. Currently, identifying patients with low HL and simple data visualizations are the best practice to help patients and clinicians in dealing with limited health literacy. Furthermore, using eHealth, as well as involving HL mediators, supports patients to make sense of complex information.
Hasannejadasl Hajar, Roumen Cheryl, Smit Yolba, Dekker Andre, Fijten Rianne