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Flashcards in Health Literacy Deck (15)
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define "health literacy"

  • degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand the basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions


what types of skills are needed for health literacy?

what are those skills needed for?

  • health literacy encompasses the wide range of skills and competencies that ppl develop over their lifetimes in order to:
    • seek out
    • comprehend
    • evaluate
    • use health information and concepts
  • each of the above are needed for the following:
    • to make informed choices
    • reduce health risks
    • inc quality of life


what are health literacy skills used?

  • dialogue and discussion
  • reading health info
  • interpreting charts
  • making decisions about participating in research studies
  • using medical tools for personal or family health care
    • ie. using a peak flow meter, or reading a thermometer or calculating time/dosage of medicine, or voting on healt/environmental issues


functional literacy

  • reading and writing skills that are inadequate to manage daily living and employment talks that require reading skills
  • examples:
    • reading road signs
    • reading food labels
    • takinga driver's license exam
    • filling out job apps
    • reading instructions on the job
  • may not be able to read and understand technical, scientific, or medical info
  • may especially have trouble interpreting info and how it applies to their own situation


scientific literacy

  • ability to understand how science research works and interpret the results of research


civic literacy

  • helps citizens become aware of public issues, participate in discussions about these issues, and become involved in decision making processes related to these issues


cultural literacy

  • ability to recognize, understand and use the collective beliefs, customs, world-view, and social identity of diverse individuals to interpret and act on information
  • in order for any message to be effective, the person developing the message should understand the culture of the recipient and make the message culturally sensitive


3 domains of health literacy

  • clinical domain
  • prevention domain
  • navigation of the health care system domain


the clinical domain of health literacy

  • includes activities assoc w/:
    • health care provider-patient interaction
    • clinical encounters
    • dx and tx of illness
    • medication education


prevention domain of health literacy

  • includes activities assoc with:
    • maintaining and improving health
    • preventing dz
    • intervening early in emerging health problems
    • engaging in self care and self mgmt of illness


navigation of health care system domain of health literacy

  • encompasses those activities related to understanding how the health care system works and individual rights and responsibilities


low health literacy (LHL)

  • can be found at all levels of society, but often a hidden problem
    • ppl don't want to reveal their limited literacy skills
    • develop strategies to cope and protect themselves from being judged as incompetent
  • LHL remains a barrier to reducing gaps in healthcare quality and improving outcomes
  • find it difficult to understand directions for taking meds, to calculate doses, or comprehend a consent form
  • may contributeto suboptimal care and outcomes thru lower participation in health program
  • may result in reduced ability to act on and understand the advice of health professional


risks assoc with LHL

  • more likely to be hospitalized
  • more likely to use emergency rooms
  • more likely to have meds and tx errors
  • less likely to follow thru with tx
  • less likely to obtain preventative care


literacy and self esteem

  • literacy is taken for granted in many aspects of our society
  • b/c of the stigma of illiteracy, ppl may be ashamed to admit they cannot read
  • as a result, ppl w/ LHL may find it difficult to feel part of their community


overall impact of health literacy

  • health literacy is the ability to make good health decisions every day
    • pts must be able to:
      • read and evaluate complex health info
      • weigh risks/benefits of procedures
      • comprehend doctor's orders
      • use math to calculate dosages
      • interpret test results
      • find health info