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HLT 110 -- Intro to Community Health Education -- Prof. Vasquez-Iscan: Health Literacy

What is Health Literacy?

“Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” (Healthy People)

"The term 'health literacy' means the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services in order to make appropriate health decisions." (Patient and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V)

“Health literacy is a constellation of skills, including the ability to perform basic reading and numerical tasks required to function in the health care environment. Patients with adequate health literacy can read, understand, and act on health information.” (Health literacy: report of the Council on Scientific Affairs, JAMA, 1999)

“Health literacy defined:

  • Health literacy allows the public and personnel working in all health-related contexts to find, understand, evaluate, communicate, and use information.
  • 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.” (Calgary Charter)

--this information is provided by Professor. Vasquez-Iscan

Health Literacy Resources

Media Literacy in Health