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In the context of previous research, patients with CRC could benefit from health care professionals’ sensitivity toward, and adjustment to, different levels of patient health literacy. In addition, health care professionals could consider that any of their patients might have difficulty understanding and making decisions about health care. Therefore, clear communication is likely to help both lower and higher health literacy patients.

Among patients with stage 3/4 disease, those with lower levels of health literacy were less likely to receive chemotherapy compared with patients with higher levels of health literacy. To provide high-quality, patient-centered care, health care professionals should consider strategies of clear communication and patient engagement, recognizing that health literacy might affect physician–patient interactions and choices in medical care.

From the Departments of Epidemiology (ELB) and Medicine (CM, DAD, RSS), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Submitted July 2, 2014; accepted August 18, 2014. 

Address correspondence to Robert S. Sandler, MD, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 4157 Bioinformatics Building, Campus Box 7555, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7555. E-mail: [email protected] 

No significant relationships exist between the authors and the companies/organizations whose products or services may be referenced in this article. 

This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (P30 DK034987, U01 CA93326).


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Source: Cancer Control