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Universal Precautions It is impossible and ineffective to adequately assess the health literacy of every client or patient you see. As a result, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recommends preventive measures for health literacy:
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Effective communication with your clients, patients, and the general public is key to improving their health and well-being.
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Plain language is an open communication that can be easily understood by the general public. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has a great page that explains the details in plain language.
Use the following tools to help you use any language that your audience has difficulty understanding in your handouts, presentations, etc.
Principles of Health Communication Evidence shows that basing your health promotion activities on principles of communication produces more effective results (Corcoran, 2007). Cognitive principles
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Guidelines All of the principles on this page apply to children as well, but here are some additional ways to reach out to this population.
Knowing children’s specific developmental stages is important for appropriate and effective communication. UNICEF has a great website to help you manage this important information.
All of the principles on this page apply to seniors as well, but here are some additional ways to reach out to this demographic.
All of the principles of intercultural communication on this page apply to working with clients/patients from cultural backgrounds different from your own, but here are some additional ways to work with these people.
Tips For Better Biometric Screening Communication
For more details and recommendations on cross-cultural communication, see Better Communication, Better Care: Tools for Caring for Diverse Populations.
Intercultural Communication and Language Differences Aspects of culture such as norms and attitudes affect supplier-customer communication, whether oral or non-verbal. In addition to the resources on this page, the resources on the Cultural Knowledge tab will help you learn more about these cultural factors.
Culturally effective providers are able to communicate with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) clients in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. This means using interpreters whenever possible and providing translated health information. The following resources include additional tools for using interpreters, sources of translated health information, and communication with LEP clients.
For additional resources and best practices for communicating with clients, see our Health Literacy and Communication Guide.