This guide provides an overview on the topic of Health Literacy, resources and tools that can be used to assess, improve, or manage health literacy, and key scholarly sources in the areas of health literacy, patient education, and communication.
The Health Literacy Place website helps to support Scotland's health literacy action plan, Making it Easier. This site contains training, resources, and techniques to help healthcare professionals develop their skills in health literacy.
The US Health Literate Care Model weaves health literacy principles from the Universal Precautions Toolkit into the widely adopted Chronic Care Model and calls for health care providers to:
- Approach all patients as if they are at risk of not understanding health information
- Employ a range of strategies for clear communication
- Confirm that patients understand what providers are saying
A podcast discussing the difficulties that those who have problems speaking English may have when trying to understand health information and also the communication issues they may come across with their health care professionals and managing chronic health conditions.
EthnoMed contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to Seattle or the US, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world. It includes cultural profiles and culturally and linguistically appropriate patient education resources.
Sørensen, K., Van den Broucke, S., Fullam, J. et al. (2012). Health literacy and public health: A systematic review and integration of definitions and models. BMC Public Health, 12, 80. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-80
Kristine Sørensen, Jürgen M. Pelikan, Florian Röthlin, Kristin Ganahl, Zofia Slonska, Gerardine Doyle, James Fullam, Barbara Kondilis, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Ellen Uiters, Maria Falcon, Monika Mensing, Kancho Tchamov, Stephan van den Broucke, Helmut Brand, on behalf of the HLS-EU Consortium (2015). Health literacy in Europe: comparative results of the European health literacy survey (HLS-EU), European Journal of Public Health, 25, Issue 6, Pages 1053–1058, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckv043
The CDC Clear Communication Index (Index) is a research-based tool to help you develop and assess public communication materials. The Index has 4 introductory questions and 20 scored items drawn from scientific literature in communication and related disciplines. The items represent the most important characteristics that enhance and aid people’s understanding of information.
Sharon D. Horner PhD, RN, Dawn Surratt BA, RN & Sarah Juliusson BA, RN (2000) Improving Readability of Patient Education Materials, Journal of Community Health Nursing, 17:1, 15-23, DOI: 10.1207/S15327655JCHN1701_02
Patient Education, Health Literacy and Health Communications eJournals