Quick Answer: What Does Low Health Literacy Mean?

Who is most at risk for low health literacy?

20, 175–184; 2005).

Low health literacy is particularly common among older people (>60 years), who are also the age group most likely to be affected by chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease..

How do you overcome low health literacy?

Use Plain Language. An important strategy for improving health literacy is to use plain language in both verbal and written communications. According to plainlanguage.gov, plain language should ensure that users can find what they need, understand what they find, and use what they find to meet their needs.

What are the levels of health literacy?

The four literacy levels are (1) below basic, (2) basic, (3) intermediate, and (4) proficient. In addition, any adults who could not complete the assessments because of language, or other obstacles, were not included in the final scoring (5%) (Kutner et al., 2007).

What is the difference between literacy and health literacy?

Literacy is defined as a set of reading, writing, basic mathematics, speech, and speech comprehension skills (Kirsch, 2001a). Health literacy is the bridge between the literacy (and other) skills and abilities of the individual and the health context.

Are health literacy and mental health literacy related?

Mental health literacy, arising from this concept of health literacy, is defined as understanding how to obtain and maintain positive mental health; understanding mental health problems and their treatments; decreasing stigma related to mental health problems; and, enhancing help-seeking efficacy.

What is health literacy and how can it impact patients?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines health literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”2 Individuals with limited health literacy may have trouble reading …

What are some of the negative effects of low health literacy?

Low health literacy has been consistently associated with poor health outcomes, including poorer health status [7–9], lack of knowledge about medical conditions and related care [10], lack of engagement with health care providers [11], decreased comprehension of medical information [10], mortality [12], and poorer use …

Why is health literacy important for patients?

Health literacy skills allow patients to take control of their own well-being by making smart healthcare choices, improving their communication with doctors and giving them the information they need to advocate for themselves in a medical setting. Without health literacy, patients can suffer real consequences.

What is the difference between health education and health literacy?

The CDC defines health literacy as “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.” In essence, health literacy is the end goal to strong patient education.

How does low health literacy affect patient outcomes?

Patients with low literacy had poorer health outcomes, including knowledge, intermediate disease markers, measures of morbidity, general health status, and use of health resources. Patients with low literacy were generally 1.5 to 3 times more likely to experience a given poor outcome.

What is low literacy level?

It denotes a weak level of skills, but more hidden than Level 1. It identifies people who can read, but test poorly. They may have developed coping skills to manage everyday literacy demands, but their low level of proficiency makes it difficult for them to face novel demands, such as learning new job skills.

Who is responsible for improving health literacy?

The United States Department of Health and Human Services created a National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. One of the goals of the National Action Plan is to incorporate health and science information in childcare and education through the university level.

How do you address low health literacy?

Addressing Low Health LiteracyThe first step is to identify the problem. … Slow down. … Use plain, non-medical language. … Show or draw pictures. … Limit the amount of information provided and repeat it before moving on. … Use the teach-back or show-me technique. … Create a shame-free environment. … Build in safeguards.

What is low health literacy?

Low health literacy is associated with patients who are older, have limited education, lower income, chronic conditions, and those who are non-native English speakers. 9–16. Approximately 80 million adults in the United States are estimated to have limited or low health literacy.

What are the four skills of health literacy?

Health literacy is the use of a wide range of skills that improve the ability of people to act on information in order to live healthier lives. These skills include reading, writing, listening, speaking, numeracy, and critical analysis, as well as communication and interaction skills.”

What are the three levels of health literacy?

The data were analyzed based on three levels of health literacy: the basic, communicative, and critical level.

What are some signs a person may have low healthcare literacy?

The ramifications for people with low to moderate healthcare literacy skills include the inability to assume positive self management, higher medical costs due to more medication and treatment errors, more frequent hospitalizations, longer hospital stays, more visits to their healthcare provider, and a lack of …

How can someone improve their health literacy?

Here are some easy ways to help build your health literacy and become a better patient and health advocate for yourself.Ask questions. And make sure you get the answers to those questions, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. … Be your own pharmacist. … Tell the truth. … Bring someone with you.

How do you develop health literacy?

Speak more slowly when providing instructions. Be respectful and clear without being patronizing. Use graphics and pictures instead of long written instructions. Provide information at an appropriate grade level.

What causes low health literacy?

A number of factors may influence an individual’s health literacy, including living in poverty, education, race/ethnicity, age, and disability. Adults living below the poverty level have lower health literacy than adults living above the poverty level.