Program design itself is a complex process, and that’s before we even get to the subject matter.Engaging patients and families requires simple solutions - but we know simple isn't always easy! Click To Tweet
But if we can’t keep it simple, then the very people we’re trying to help are destined to be lost in the process of program and material creation. They get lost for a whole host of reasons, but they’re still lost.
Why We Need To Keep It Simple
From my experience with tutoring Adult Literacy and teaching science to teens, I know a few things:
- In Canada, 40% of adults don’t have the literacy skills they need to cope with the demands of everyday life. If we look at First Nations populations, this statistic rises to 60%.
- The ‘demands of everyday life’ are increasing. Add Health Literacy and personal advocacy on top of general literacy struggles. The numbers don’t get any better.
- I was accredited to teach senior biology and I am a caregiver for my lung-transplant recipient husband. I’ve helped teens through the struggle to learn the language of science and I’ve been with adults in crisis who struggle to learn biology and bureaucracy while a spouse is dying.
We need to keep it simple so that real people can access (and share*) the resources, make sense of them and take actions that will improve their health outcomes.
* I can’t tell you how many resources I’ve stumbled on well after the time I could have used them. I also consistently hear about outdated materials, duplication of materials between government agencies, etc. It can be crazy-making!
How We Can Keep It Simple
Programs and materials:
- Need to be created and maintained by those ‘skilled in the art’,
- Must include the real people who will be the ultimate end-users, and
- Be designed so they can be communicated and disseminated easily through multiple channels and by multiple stakeholders.