Plain Language Health Resources
Literacy, Inc., makes no claim as to the accuracy of the information
provided in the California Health Literacy Initiative Resource
Medical Association, Health Literacy: Help
Your Patients Understand
In 1998, the American Medical Association became the first national
medical organization to adopt policy recognizing that limited
patient literacy affects medical diagnosis and treatment. The
AMA Foundation has since been working to raise awareness of health
literacy within the health care community.
Family Health Council, Inc (CFHC)
The EPA Division of the
CFHC provides training in health literacy and technical assistance
in developing easy-to-read and easy-to-understand patient education
California Health Literacy Initiative
The goal of the California Health Literacy Initiative is to inform
and partner with individuals and organizations to positively impact
the health and well being of individuals with low literacy skills,
their families, and their communities.
Public Health Association: National Literacy and Health Program
The National Literacy and Health Program provides resources to
help health professionals serve clients with low literacy skills.
The program focuses on health information in plain language and
clear verbal communication between health professionals and their
for Health Care Strategies, Inc.: Health Literacy Resources
Each of these fact sheets covers an important aspect of health
literacy. The Center for Health Care Strategies prepared these
fact sheets in 1997 (revised in 2003). Since then, the number
of publications on health literacy has grown exponentially and
the issue is now being incorporated into the federal health policy
under the keyword “health literacy.”
of State Governments (CSG): State Official's Guide to Health Literacy
This guide reports the results of CSG's 2002 National Survey on
Health Literacy Initiatives, a national survey to find out what
states are doing to improve health literacy or to make the health
care system easier to navigate. The Guide provides an overview
of state initiatives as well as information on relevant academic
research and successful private-sector initiatives. Readers will
gain an understanding of the problem, what can be done to improve
health literacy, and how to make the current health care system
more accessible to someone with low health literacy. Search under
the keyword "health literacy."
School of Public Health: Health Literacy Studies
Health Literacy Studies (HLS) is a research program of the National
Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL).
They are engaged in a variety of activities, studies, and explorations
linking health and literacy. Their work is based in public health,
health care settings, and adult education programs.
Through its many programs and services, Health Literacy Consulting
teaches health professionals ways to communicate so that patients,
families, and employees can understand health issues.
Literacy Month: Promoting Understandable Health Communication
Around the World
Join with health literacy advocates around the world as, together,
we promote the need for understandable health information. Health
Literacy Month is a grassroots campaign. in which individuals,
organizations, and communities can participate in ways that meet
their specific needs.
People Library Project
The project is designed to provide minority groups and other consumers
easy access to current, reliable information on selected health
topics at their local libraries. The health literacy resources
listed here have been reviewed and recommended by librarians,
health professionals, and other experts.
for Healthcare Advancement
The Institute for Healthcare Advancement is a proactive organization
engaging in diverse, innovative, and successful methods of providing
education that has a positive impact on the future of health care
for all populations. The current evolution in the health care
marketplace drives the need to educate both practitioners and
consumers on key health care issues and how to successfully address
challenges in accessing the health care system.
of Medicine of the National Academies: Health Literacy
Health literacy is where the expectations, preferences and skills
of individuals seeking health information meet the expectations,
preferences and skills of individuals providing information. Health
literacy arises from a convergence of education, health services,
and social and cultural factors, and brings together research
and practice from diverse fields.
Institute for Literacy: Health & Literacy Special Collection
The Health & Literacy Special Collection is for teachers,
students, health educators, or anyone interested in health education
for people with limited literacy skills.
National Institute of Health
Helpful materials are available on many aspects of health communication, including strategies and tactics, understanding audiences, and evaluation and planning. One example is this guide available from the National Cancer Institute: Making Health Communication Programs Work: A Planner's Guide.
Network of Libraries of Medicine: Consumer Health Online Manual
The first portion of this bibliography contains print resources
that discuss either methods to assess the patient's reading ability
or how to evaluate the readability of materials. Some articles
or chapters discuss both topics. The second portion of this bibliography
contains Web resources that discuss health literacy. Sources linking
people to information for patients with low literacy levels and
to easy-to-read patient handouts are listed.
Partnership for Clear Health Communication:
Ask Me 3
The Partnership for Clear Health Communication is a coalition
of national organizations that are working together to promote
awareness and solutions around the issue of low health literacy
and its effect on health outcomes.
Pfizer Inc.: Clear Health Communication
Pfizer has taken a leadership role in advocating for Clear Health
Communication. All health care information providers have a responsibility
to ensure that the information given to patients is communicated
in a way that is understandable and truly accessible.
States Department of Health and Human Services: Health Resources
and Services Administration (HRSA)
HRSA’s health literacy
activities assist the Agency in accomplishing its mission: to
improve and expand access to quality health care for all. HRSA’s
health care delivery sites, along with training and education
programs, work to reach out to those with low health literacy
skills to improve their quality of life.
World Education: Health and Literacy Compendium
The Health and Literacy Compendium is an annotated bibliography
of print and Web-based health materials for use with limited-literacy
adults. The Compendium was developed by World Education in collaboration
with the National Institute for Literacy.