Creating Patient Education Materials

Health Literacy is defined is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.

Patient Education and Health Literacy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “nine out of 10 adults struggle to understand and use health information when it is unfamiliar, complex, or jargon-filled.”
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Talking Points About Health Literacy.

Compared to adults with adequate health literacy, adults with limited health literacy have:

  • More serious medication errors.
  • Higher rates of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and death.
  • Worse preventive care and health outcomes for their children.

Source: Brach C et al. [2012]. 10 Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations

Health literacy is the greatest predictor of an individual’s health status—more so than age, race, or socioeconomic status

There are many factors that may correlate with or influence an individual’s level of health literacy, such as living in poverty, level of education, race or ethnicity, age, and disability. However, low health literacy does not discriminate and does not always correlate with reading literacy or level of education.

Last Updated: Aug 31, 2023 11:50 AM