How do (older, lower-income) patients learn?

How do (older, lower-income) patients learn?

Rebecka Sexton of the Center For Innovation at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA, emailed a great question and I’d like to share it more widely:

We are working on a project here at Carilion on chronic diseases related to Population Health Management related to COPD.

I am specifically working on the education component from a service design perspective and am trying to better understand how COPD patients learn,  where their pain points are related to education, what they need education about, etc. The learnings will result in solutions and recommendations to Carilion Clinic. Of course, the social media and technology component enters in because COPD patients are often older and in western Virigina, on Medicaid and many can’t read although they might have phones. I am also considering that education occurs through conversations online too. I am wondering if you can suggest anything for me to look at related to this topic.

My reply:

I’m working on two upcoming reports that will hopefully be useful to you: how family caregivers use the internet, especially for health; how people living with chronic conditions use the internet, especially for health. We will update and expand on our previous reports about these groups:

Family Caregivers Online (2012)

Peer-to-Peer HealthCare (2011)

Chronic Disease and the Internet (2010)

In case you haven’t yet dug into them, I can also offer a summary of Pew Internet’s health research and links to two blogs I contribute to: e-patients.net and susannahfox.com.

You might also look at some of the work that the California HealthCare Foundation, the Center for Care Innovations, and Ted Eytan, MD, of Kaiser have done related to safety net populations. Here are some links to get you started (I searched for “safety net”):

CHCF.com: safety net

TedEytan.com: safety net

I also recommend looking at some of the work that Ivor Horn, MD, is doing. For example, in this presentation, she tells a compelling story about how patients, caregivers, and clinicians can better connect:

Now: let’s help Rebecka: What else would you share with her?

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Comments

5 Responses to “How do (older, lower-income) patients learn?”

  1. This is a refreshing paper where Dr Topol explains the shift about “doctors teaching their patients”, calling for a new relationship: docere.

  2. This topic is close to my heart. I was an English teacher at our community college and worked specifically with our remedial level students. Many students were adults who were hoping to go back into the workforce after a job loss. I would strongly advocate that Rebecka talk with teachers—not necessarily health leaders—in order to learn how to best connect with these patients. I’m happy to provide any assistance I can, and overall I wish more of those who are interested in health literacy would team up with basic literacy teachers.

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