These teaching methods range from basic beliefs such as the power of magic good

These teaching methods range from basic beliefs such

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These teaching methods range from basic beliefs, such as the power of magic, good-luck charms and the supernatural, cultural or social belief and practices (e.g., home remedies of poultices and herbal teas), intuition and personal experience (e.g., learning from experience on what helps one to sleep at night), to more formalized methods of knowing gained from instruction or education and the influence of authority figures, or the power of deductive and inductive reasoning. 3 These authors describe the highest form of learning as the scientific method, or the attainment of knowledge by means of repeated observation and controlled testing, the primary means of guiding nurses in what should be the content of patient teaching. 3 Literacy The use of written instruction materials is widely used in patient teaching and offers several challenges to patient educators. Instructions or patient education pamphlets are not well received by students who did not receive formal education and/or who are not able to read or write. The same is true if the patient’s primary language differs from the language of written materials. While many patient education materials have been developed in simplified language(s), a large number of materials for major diseases and treatments remain unavailable in language that is less than high school or college level English. “Low literacy and illiteracy are major contributing factors to noncompliance.” 4 Handwritten materials or materials printed in all capital letters may also be difficult to read for some patients, whereas hand-printed materials where capital and small letters are used may not be as difficult. 5 Because definitions of literacy vary, functional literacy is a term that has been used to described the ability of the individual to read, understand and interpret what he/she reads and to then use that information as it was intended. 4, 5 Having poor reading skills impact the ability of the patient and/or family to organize thoughts and to formulate questions, integrate the information into behaviors, and to problem-solve. 4, 5 Explanations of symptoms may be very simple, without a variety of adjectives to describe them. 5 Patients tend to think in specific and concrete ways and will need limited, basic information, perhaps using creative audiovisual or other means of instruction. 4, 5 Doak and others 5 concluded that individuals with poor communication skills: 1. Tend to have limited respective related to direct personal experience. 2. May be unaware of the need to give information to healthcare providers. 3. Think in concrete terms, rather than in classes or categories of information. 4. May be given information in bits and pieces without an identifiable pattern or logical connection.

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