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Health Literacy: Limiting information

Resources for understanding health literacy best practices.

Limiting information

Limiting information can be done through Chunk and Check and Ask Me 3®. Chunk and Check is the practice of grouping related information together and then assessing comprehension. Ask Me 3® is trademarked didactic concept consisting of three questions aimed at summarizing important health-related information.

  • What is my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is it important for me to do this?

Chunk and Check

  • Use logical steps Like information should be grouped together in simple, easy to understand chunks
  • Put them in order Steps to be taken should be grouped in ordered, concise chunks, with pictures if possible
  • Comprehension check Checking for patient understanding should always be assessed after presenting each chunk of information

Ask Me 3

Ask patients to reiterate what their main problem is and what is important to them in regard to next steps or interventions that are being recommended

  • Be open and honest clinicians should be open and honest in what they feel is important for patients to understand
  • Active voice Use pronouns like “you” whenever possible to personalize information and recommendations
  • Don’t forget the “why” Discussing and agreeing upon why an intervention needs to be taken or why a patient needs to follow a treatment regimen brings importance to the intervention or treatment recommended; Keep in mind, the “why” may be different for the health care provider and patient

Too much information may overwhelm or intimidate the patient or their caregivers. Limiting each communication to three key messages helps everyone to focus on the details that matter most.

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