Community-Based Health Literacy Interventions

In its landmark report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, the Institute of Medicine noted that there are 90 million adults in the United States with limited health literacy who cannot fully benefit from what the health and health care systems have to offer. Since the release of that report, health literacy has become a vibrant research field that has developed and disseminated a wide range of tools and practices that have helped organizations, ranging in size from large health care systems to individual health care providers and pharmacists, to engage in health literate discussions with and provide health literate materials for patients and family members. Improving the health literacy of organizations can be an important component of addressing the social determinants of health and achieving the triple aim of improving the patient experience, improving the health of populations, and reducing the cost of care. However, the focus on organizations does not address the larger issue of how to improve health literacy across the U.S. population.

To get a better understanding of the state of community-based health literacy interventions, the Roundtable on Health Literacy hosted a workshop on July 19, 2017 on community-based health literacy interventions. It featured examples of community-based health literacy programs, discussions on how to evaluate such programs, and the actions the field can take to embrace this larger view of health literacy. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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Date: 2018

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