Article

Health Literacy

Rima Rudd and Lindsay Schubiner

in Public Health

ISBN: 9780199756797
Published online February 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0033
Health Literacy

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Health literacy represents a new field of inquiry at the intersection of individuals’ literacy skills and health system demands with attention to health outcomes. Two strands of research contribute to the field of health literacy. The first has been primarily focused on assessments of health materials and the second on differential health outcomes among those who read well and those who do not. These two strands of research have become more interwoven in current research, supporting the importance of examining literacy within context. As a result, new initiatives bring attention to demands and expectations of multiple health contexts within which people make health decisions, take healthful action, and seek information and care. Attention is being paid to literacy-related barriers to access and care, to the communication exchange with attention to the skills of professionals as well as of the lay public, and to a range of literacy skills that include reading and writing, speaking and listening, and numeracy. This bibliography identifies sources pertaining to definition of terms, to key reports and texts reflecting the history and an overview of the field, sources related to measurement, sample studies and findings from the two core strands of research, and examples of new developments in health literacy research and implementation studies.

Article.  8072 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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