SOURCE: Institute for Healthcare Advancement

June 30, 2008 14:43 ET

Self-Help Medical Book Written at 3rd Grade Reading Level Reaches 2 Million Sold Mark

LA HABRA, CA--(Marketwire - June 30, 2008) - "What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick," written by two registered nurses frustrated with the typical 11th grade reading level of most patient education materials, recently reached a 2 million copies sold mark since the book's initial publication in 2000. This milestone was made possible in part because of the ongoing search for a solution to rising healthcare costs. It's estimated that low health literacy adds $73 billion annually to U.S. health care costs in unnecessary medical expenses.

Employers and health plans are paying an ever increasing price for healthcare, and "What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick" is emerging as a viable solution to reduce unwarranted Emergency Room and doctor/clinic visits. Health plans have also recognized the value of providing their members with an in-home self-help healthcare book that helps maintain the good health of their member's children.

A big customer has been the First 5 California program which includes the book in its "Kit For New Parents," made available to every new parent in the state. "'What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick' is a valuable addition to our 'Kit For New Parents,'" said Kris Perry, Executive Director of First 5 California. "From sore throats to nose bleeds, this guide provides solutions to common health problems in an easy-to-understand manner that parents will appreciate."

"The continued success of this book shows it is really making a difference out there for the consumer and as well as those who deliver health care," said Gloria Mayer, R.N., Ed.D., who co-authored the book with Ann Kuklierus, R.N. The book is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin) and Korean.

Copies of "What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick," published by the La Habra-based not-for-profit Institute for Healthcare Advancement, have been sold or distributed nationally and internationally. The book has been hailed by clinicians as the "Holy Grail" of health care reference books and has been used in multiple studies to measure how emergency room overuse can be reduced with simple self-help tools that are written in easy-to-understand language. The most recent results from the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Institute's four year outcome study have shown parents and caregivers who use "What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick" have reduced their Emergency Room visits by 58% and doctor/clinic visits by 41%. The book has also won numerous awards for its trailblazing efforts in improving health literacy.

Studies have shown 90 million American adults (approximately one in two) cannot read above a fifth grade level. To help these low level readers, the books presents more than 50 common health problems, from childhood ailments such as earaches, vomiting and colic, to how to handle more serious problems such as burns, choking, and broken bones. Each medical problem is presented in a logical, step-by-step-format, i.e., "What is it?, What do I see?, What can I do at home?, When do I call the doctor or nurse?, and What else should I know?" The narrative is supported with over 150 lifelike illustrations allowing readers, and even non-readers, to quickly understand the information and take action. Instead of medical jargon the book uses simple language such as "yellow" newborn rather than "jaundiced" newborn and words like "broken bone" instead of "fracture" in describing medical conditions.

"People with limited healthcare knowledge struggle every day to understand doctors and nurses who talk in medical jargon, and they generally avoid reading medical reference books because they are too difficult to understand," explained Mayer. "This book empowers parents to take charge of their children's health by giving them practical information and delivering it in a way that is easy for them to read, understand and apply."

The Institute for Healthcare Advancement is a La Habra-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering people to better health. The Institute is nationally recognized for its efforts in health literacy and provides healthcare information through its various publishing efforts, the Internet, and its renowned local and national education programs. For more information, please go to, or call toll-free (800) 434-4633.

Contact Information

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