Original Publication
Open Access

Utilizing Standardized Patients to Enhance Health Literacy Communication Skills

Published: July 16, 2008 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.1101

Included in this publication:

  • Cases Health Literacy.pdf

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This resource includes four standardized patient cases intended to address prominent low health literacy topics. In addition to the standardized patient cases, this resource also includes training guidelines, measurable teaching objectives, and a health literacy communication skills rating scale for assessing these outcomes. These materials were developed with the intent for flexible use. The user should feel free to modify these materials for the needs of his/her individual programs, learners, and objectives. The purpose of the current materials is to provide additional and supplemental opportunities to improve and/or certify healthcare providers' skills in addressing low health literacy in their patient population. Although initial evidence has been gathered to support the validity of this instrument, additional research is underway to further investigate its properties.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify the patient's current level of understanding about her health status.
  2. Increase the patient's level of awareness of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Begin to establish a realistic and joint agreement or plan to manage diabetes.
  4. Teach the patient how to monitor her blood glucose levels with a meter.

Author Information

  • Lisa Howley, PhD: Carolinas Medical Center
  • Christine Peterson, MD: University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Eugene Barrett, MD: University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • John Gazewood, MD: University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • William Wilson, MD: University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Suzanne Holroyd, MD: University of Virginia School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Howley L, Peterson C, Barrett E, Gazewood J, Wilson W, Holroyd S. Utilizing standardized patients to enhance health literacy communication skills. MedEdPORTAL. 2008;4:1101. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.1101