Health literacy is the need of the hour: Dr Shradha Malik

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Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Dr Shradha Malik, MD, is a Managing Director of Athena Behavioral Health. With an extensive background in strategic roles at prominent companies like Conduent, HCL, and AIG Business Solutions, she is dedicated to revolutionising mental health and addiction care. Dr Malik, a medical graduate, holds certifications in Leadership and Change Management from IIM Ahmedabad, Scrum Product Ownership from Scrum Alliance, and Lean Six Sigma (Green Belt) from Motorola Solutions. In this interview, Dr Shradha Malik discussed about health literacy and its need in the current climate of rampant medical misinformation.

When a patient explains to you about their health problems, what are the most common mistakes they make in their communication?

One of the most common mistakes made by patients is not being clear about their symptoms. A lot of patients use vague language or describe their symptoms in a way that is difficult for the doctor or therapist to understand. This can result in misdiagnosis or ineffective treatment. Another mistake is not being honest about their symptoms. Patients may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their mental health problems, which can lead them to downplay their symptoms or avoid discussing certain topics. This can also lead to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment. In conclusion, effective communication is essential for successful mental health treatment. Patients must be clear, honest, and provide enough context about their symptoms, while also being willing to ask questions and seek clarification when needed.

What does health literacy mean to you, and why is it important in patient care?

Health literacy is an essential aspect of healthcare that refers to an individual’s ability to obtain, understand, and utilise health information to make informed decisions about their health. In today’s world, the healthcare industry is becoming more complex, and patients are required to make more informed decisions about their health. This is where health literacy comes in handy. Patients who have good health literacy skills can navigate through the healthcare system with ease, understand medical terms and instructions, and make informed decisions about their health. For healthcare providers, health literacy is equally important. It helps them to communicate effectively with their patients, explain medical terms, and ensure that their patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options. When patients have good health literacy skills, they are more likely to adhere to their treatment plans, leading to better health outcomes.

If a patient is knowledgeable about the basics of their health condition, how helpful is it for the overall treatment procedure?

Basic knowledge about health among patients can be very helpful. Medical experts have long stressed the importance of patient education in improving healthcare outcomes. With a better understanding of their health condition, patients can become active participants in their own care and make informed decisions about treatment options. Patients who are informed about their health condition are better equipped to communicate with their healthcare providers. They can ask questions, provide feedback, and work collaboratively with their doctors to develop personalized treatment plans. Patients who are well-informed about their health condition are less likely to require emergency care or hospitalization, which can help to free up resources for those who need them most.

How much can medical misinformation impact treatment procedures?

Misinformation can create mistrust between patients and medical professionals. It can lead to patients avoiding necessary medical treatments or procedures. This can result in delayed diagnoses, missed opportunities for early intervention, and ultimately, poorer health outcomes.

What are the most common myths or misinformation you see your patients falling prey to?

As a medical expert, it is not uncommon to witness patients falling prey to common health myths and misinformation. One of the most myths that I have come across is that ‘cracking your knuckles causes arthritis‘. The fact is that it doesn’t cause arthritis. However, cracking your knuckles may cause joint swelling and reduced grip strength.

What is your most common advice to patients to stay away from health misinformation online?

In today’s world, the internet has become a primary source of information for many people. While this can be beneficial in many ways, it also means that there is a lot of misinformation out there. One of the most important pieces of advice is to be sceptical of any health information that seems too good to be true. There are a lot of websites and social media posts that make bold claims about miracle cures or secret treatments. In reality, there is no such thing as a miracle cure, and most legitimate treatments take time and effort to be effective. Patients should always look for reputable sources of information, such as government agencies or well-respected medical organizations.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Urmimala Sengupta
Urmimala Sengupta
A mass-communication graduate, Urmi is responsible for reporting about the healthcare industry.
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