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Health Literacy

Improving health literacy can improve health equity. Low health literacy unfairly affects vulnerable populations in comparison to the general population and contributes to greater degrees of unmet needs that people may experience when accessing healthcare services. Many people across the world struggle to understand important information that enable them to access, understand information, as well as manage their disease, care, and treatment.

Health literate environments play a major role in helping people navigate complex healthcare systems and use health resources. Increasingly, countries are adopting national health literacy policies and implementing strategies to support a systemic approach to improving health literacy at both individual and organisational levels. While interventions to support health literate environments are essential, it is also important to understand the impact of health literacy on patient satisfaction and experience.

Global research conducted by Lymphoma Coalition underscores the significance of patient-doctor communication in healthcare and how communication can either negatively or positively influence patient experience, patient satisfaction and patient understanding across key areas of diagnosis, treatment, and care.

  • Less than one quarter (18%) of patients felt very well informed about the processes and stages of their healthcare.
  • When patients were asked if diagnostic and test results were explained to them by their medical team, 60% said they were explained and they understood them. This leaves 2 out of every 5 patients with incomplete or missing information.
  • Two-thirds of patients (66%) reported that they were told their lymphoma subtype at diagnosis, despite lymphoma being a complex disease with more than 80 subtypes.
  • Most patients (78%) in South America reported that their doctor always explains their lymphoma or CLL and care plan in a way they can easily understand, while only 53% reported the same in Asia-Pacific.