Health Literacy

1. Provide answers to the 2 questions below in a Discussion Post. 

Provide the definition of health literacy from the assigned reading? (a direct quote from the reading is fine)

In your own words, explain the importance of health literacy and possible problems associated with a lack of health literacy.

  • reading: 
  • Section 13.1 Understanding your Health Care Choices

Developing Health Literacy

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.” In a recent report by the HHS, improved consumer health literacy was determined to be an important component of health communication, medical product safety, and oral health.
Health literacy includes the ability to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, appointment slips, medical education brochures, doctor’s directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex health care systems. Health literacy is not simply the ability to read. It requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical, and decision-making skills, and the ability to apply these skills to health situations.
Health literacy varies by context and setting and is not necessarily related to years of education or general reading ability. A person who functions adequately at home or work may have marginal or inadequate literacy in a health care environment. With the move towards a more “consumer-centric” health care system as part of an overall effort to improve the quality of health care and to reduce health care costs, individuals need to take an even more active role in health care related decisions. To accomplish this people need strong health information skills.

Health Literacy

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