The Preeclampsia Foundation has already made a significant investment into health literacy research in 2009 and 2010, funding and working closely with top researchers and opinion leaders at Northwestern University in Chicago to develop an evidence-based patient education tool that will work with a broad range of patient populations today. That research study has been concluded and is ready to be tested on a wider audience. Research has shown that low health literacy is not necessarily correlated to low socio-economic conditions and that across many health conditions, patients may not have the resources to read or understand in-depth materials, and as a result are not adequately informed.
In addition, there are many education opportunities when pregnant women interact with a variety of care providers - childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, nurse-midwives and the traditional physicians and nurses they encounter in clinics, hospitals and medical offices. Each of those encounters is an opportunity to provide that woman with important information about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and to encourage her to take action if she has concerns. Throughout 2010, the Preeclampsia Foundation attended medical conferences and conducted an educational survey on what nurses, midwives and doulas provide in the way of preeclampsia patient education. The statistics, which will soon be published, show an alarming lack of regular preeclampsia education.