Only one in eight patients has enough skills to manage their own healthcare.

July 18, 2008

Only one in eight patients has enough skills to manage their own healthcare.

Just one in eight patients has enough skills to manage their own healthcare proficiently, according to a new study from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Moreover, only one in five people surveyed had a basic understanding of medical treatments, and just one in seven was able to handle simple tasks, such as comprehending a short set of treatment instructions. The results of the AHRQ study, which initially appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, seem to indicate that patients are confused by the overwhelming amount of medical information available to them-or that their healthcare providers could be doing a better job of helping them sort through it.