Student use of health literacy tools to improve patient understanding and medication adherence

Document Type


Publication Title

Consultant Pharmacist


OBJECTIVE: Evaluate curricular changes related to health literacy and determine impact on independent-living senior residents as part of an introductory pharmacy practice experience for third-year student pharmacists. DESIGN: Students were randomly assigned a resident whom they visited multiple times to conduct assessments and provide various services using three methods: Ask Me 3™, Four Habits Model, and Teach-back. SETTING: The study was conducted at independent-living apartments within a 24-mile radius from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis, Missouri. PATIENTS, PARTICIPANTS: Participants (n = 147 to 173, across all three years) were volunteer, elderly residents, living at a facility that collaborated with the research. INTERVENTIONS: Within one academic year, students collected medical and medication histories, conducted household safety checks, performed screening assessments, assessed adherence, and provided general recommendations to a resident. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Outcomes included resident satisfaction, student satisfaction, and correlations between student use of health literacy tools and resident satisfaction. RESULTS: Exit surveys indicated resident overall satisfaction with the program, increased understanding of health-related information, increased confidence in asking health care professionals questions about their health, and greater commitment to medication adherence as a result of the experience. Students were highly satisfied with the program. Analyses reveal some correlations between a previously determined performance level of student communication and resident satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: Students' use of health literacy communication tools during encounters with independent-living senior residents can result in greater patient understanding and empowerment, which may in turn help improve medication adherence. © 2014 American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date