• Breaking down barriers to health information: an analysis of the relationship between health literacy, health equity, and patient-provider communication

      Pedrozo, Majessa (2019-12)
      This thesis examines the relationship between health literacy and patient-provider communication and how improvements in both help mitigate health disparities. A literature review was completed to examine (1) health literacy concepts, (2) health literacy disparities among minorities, individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES), the elderly, and those with communication disorders, and (3) health literacy interventions that focus on patient-provider communication. Improving the communication quality in health care may help address the overall low health literacy skills of people in the United States. Some approaches to improve patient-provider communication include using plain language, multimodal communication, a communication book, and the teach back method. As experts in communication, speech-language pathologists are in a unique position to help health care providers improve health literacy and communication quality. Improving communication quality is especially crucial considering the negative health outcomes that are associated with low health literacy.
    • A review in geriatrics and quality of care: impact of communication disorders on older adults

      Migliore, Kaitlyn (2021-05)
      The interaction of physical and mental health factors determines life quality and social participation levels. Many conditions and communication disorders also contribute. Three that are highly prevalent in the older adult population are age-induced hearing loss (presbycusis), dementia/aphasia, and traumatic brain injuries. A brief overview is provided on the physiology of these conditions, as well the effects they have on someone’s language status. Due to the varying natures of the disorders, their comorbidity and overlapping development will be considered. The geriactric population is further examined in terms of nationality and economic background. This provides a focus on how different populations face a variety of issues because of these conditions. Health support systems that work with individuals to satisfy their needs are evaluated, in terms of the acceptance and accessibility they provide. The biases and issues resultant of healthcare disparities are expanded upon. Psychological and social systems of older adults are considered, as well as how they change when health or communication fails to function. Specific topics addressed include the development of mental illness, the effects of communication loss on social skills, and challenges with self image. The availability of support systems is vital. Understanding practices and systems that threaten life areas and quality of life for older adults enables service providers to produce better outcomes through advocacy.