Journal Article

Health literacy: a challenge for American patients and their health care providers

Ruth Parker

in Health Promotion International

Volume 15, issue 4, pages 277-283
Published in print December 2000 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online December 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/15.4.277
Health literacy: a challenge for American patients and their health care providers

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Health literacy skills are increasingly important for both health and health care. Unfortunately, many patients with the most extensive and complicated health care problems are at greatest risk for misunderstanding their diagnoses, medications and instructions on how to take care of their medical problems. Much health promotion and patient education information has traditionally used printed materials written at reading levels at or above the 10th grade. Such material is not accessible to the millions of Americans with inadequate literacy. This paper gives an overview of the prevalence of poor health literacy skills in America and describes how poor health literacy affects their health care experience.

Keywords: health education; health literacy; literacy; patient-provider communication

Journal Article.  4197 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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