Association of Health Literacy With Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Abdominal Surgery Original Investigation Research Invited Commentary Richard Carmona, MD, MPH; Andrew Pleasant, PhD First, we would like to commend the authors for taking on this care 4 to 7 years ago. Why was there a gap or delay in publish- complex issue of the relationship between health literacy and ing these results? surgical outcomes. As a fellow surgeon and professor, I (R.C.) The Brief Health Literacy Screen that was used as a mea- know that surgeons are rarely singled out for exceptional com- sure of health literacy in this study is simple but of limited munication skills. I am happy that my colleagues are entering value. However, to our knowledge, there is currently not a the field of health literacy. widely accepted, valid, and reliable standard of health lit- eracy measurement. We are both aware that clear, succinct, understandable, and health-literate preoperative and postoperative instruc- The study sample was predominately English-speaking and tions can be a significant determinant of the outcomes white, relatively well-educated, and undergoing elective sur- and the cost of care. Health gery. This is not a representative sample. One would expect literacy affects every person, a
JAMA Surgery – American Medical Association
Published: Feb 4, 2018
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