Barriers Faced By Hispanics With Low Health Literacy Essay

942 Words May 29th, 2015 4 Pages
Barriers faced by Hispanics to obtain optimal health

Low health literacy is the inability to read, comprehend, and interpret health related data. The tendency to interpret symptoms without obtaining the medical diagnosis or exam may be related to low health literacy, which affects nearly 62% of Hispanics (Coffman, Norton, and Beene, 2011). Low health literacy is associated with inadequate diabetes knowledge, low glycemic control, and increase diabetes complications (Coffman, Norton, and Beene, 2011). The need for Spanish literacy materials for Hispanic diabetics is crucial to their health. Immigrants from Mexico usually have an elementary school education, but many come to America seeking a better life with the willingness to learn (Montgomery and Schubart, 2009). Low literacy is not the only barrier to Hispanics obtaining optimal health.
Cultural competence has been defined as, “the ability of individuals to establish effective interpersonal and working relationships that supersede cultural differences (Beach et al., 2005).” The principal standard of cultural competency is “providing effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy, and other communication needs (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, 2014).”
Cultural competency is crucial for Hispanics to receive unbiased care and compassion that they…

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