Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why Patient Education Handouts Are Effective In Helping Prevent Disease

By Jayne Rutledge

The many advances made in the field of medical science now allow medical practitioners to use advanced treatment options and procedures to cure diseases that were seen as terminal just a few short years ago. However, many people simply cannot afford advanced treatment and even those that have medical insurance cannot access the latest treatments. One solution is to help people to prevent disease and patient education handouts can play a very important role in this regard.

One of the main purposes of educational brochures is to help people to understand how their lifestyles may lead to illness and disease. Matters such as safe sex, a healthy diet, the dangers of alcohol and tobacco and many other potentially harmful lifestyle habits can be discussed. Awareness of these dangers may convince readers to consider their risk profiles and to make changes and to prevent disease.

Another great advantage of distributing health care brochures is to educate people about the typical symptoms of a variety of diseases. A surprising number of people ignore certain symptoms, not realizing that they are indications of a potentially serious disease. Once people know what to look out for, diseases can be diagnosed earlier and the chances of successful treatment increase.

Information pamphlets can also do much to make sure that patients gain the maximum benefit from their medication. It is a fact that a large percentage of people using chronic medication are irresponsible. They do not use the medication as indicated and they do not realize the consequences of their irresponsible behavior. By educating people on these matters the effectiveness of treatment can be increased.

For this type of education printed leaflets makes common sense. Many people that are targeted by this type of educational material do not have ready access to the internet or other sophisticated information networks. Also, printed material is more likely to be kept and it is relatively cheap to produce and to distribute through a wide variety of channels.

Information leaflets should be designed with very specific target groups in mind. Some target groups can comprehend medical terminology whilst others are not so sophisticated. Experience has shown that it is better to present the basic facts, illustrated as best possible, and to provide details of those sources that can provide more detailed information. Information should be presented in the mother tongue wherever possible.

There can be little doubt that proper education can do much to help ensure that people remain healthy. Pamphlets that are readily available to all target audience can help people to recognize potentially dangerous life styles. It can also do much to help medical practitioners to diagnose conditions early enough to ensure that the chances of successful treatment are increased.

Patient education handouts can do much to relieve the pressure upon the health system. Informed people can make informed decisions. Authorities on all levels should do whatever they can to educate people about their own health, the ways I which they can improve it and the options available to them if they fall ill.

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