The importance of health literacy has been established in medical literature in relation to health behaviour motivation and health outcomes, but little is known about health literacy in Europe including Greece. People with low health literacy are likelier t o report poor health, likelier to not fully understand their health problems and treatment, and are at higher risk for hospitalisation. Little has been done in Europe regarding the importance of readability and health literacy for improving patient outcome s and the relation of the former to informed consent and other medical documents. Most readability formulas have been created and tested in the English language and health literacy research has mainly been done in the U.S.
The project will begin by "mapping " identified European researchers working and conducting research in the above areas, including health literacy and informed consent, as this process allows for shared ideas and knowledge. This project will focus on exploring current readability formulas f or the English language as applied in the Greek language, including developing and pilot testing a new readability formula for the Greek language. This new formula will be applied to different patient educational and research tools with a special focus on informed consent forms. Two consent forms from public or private medical centre studies will be identified and their consent forms will be evaluated using our new readability formula. Patients' understanding of the studies' components will be examined and the extent to which a signed informed consent reflects reality. Additional forms for potential evaluation include disease management information sheets and brochures.
The project's overall goal is to develop and integrate methods for the "informed patient," thus, improving the communication among health care providers, health educators, and patients, which may lead to better health care quality and improved patient outcomes.
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