Jackie Davis, MLIS
Community Health Library at Cushman Wellness Center
Sharp Memorial Hospital Outpatient Pavilion
Phone: (858) 939-5031
Jackie Davis, MLIS and
Deborah Magnan, MLIS, AHIP
Samuel and Sandra Hekemian Medical Library
Hackensack University Medical Center
30 Prospect Ave.
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone: (201) 996-2326
July 22, 2010
General Health Literacy
AMA Foundation. Health literacy video. American Medical Association.
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/no-index/about-ama/8035.shtml. Accessed July 22, 2010.
"Health literacy and patient safety: Help patients understand" (2007)
"Low health literacy: You can't tell by looking" (2001)
Health literacy for public health professionals. http://www.cdc.gov/healthmarketing/healthliteracy/training/. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Assists in integrating the concepts of health literacy in the public health arena. Includes a glossary of terms, videos, and an excellent resources page.
Kouame, G. Prescription for information: addressing health information literacy! Medical Library Association web site: available courses. http://mla.mrooms.org. Accessed July 22, 2010.
One of the online courses available through the Medical Library Association. User needs to create a Moodle account to access class.
Unified Health Communication (UHC): Addressing Health Literacy, Cultural Competency, and Limited English Proficiency. Health Resources and Services Administration web site: health literacy. http://www.hrsa.gov/publichealth/healthliteracy. Published November 2007. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Rich in content, self-paced, covers all the issues involved in health literacy; should be required for all who work in the health field.
Resources created by librarians/libraries
Schaefer, N. Designing librarian roles in health literacy. Paper presented at: Southern Chapter/Medical Library Association 57th Annual conference; November 12-17, 2007; Charleston, SC. http://www.library.health.ufl.edu/presentations/SCMLA_07/scmla071.ppt. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Particularly useful for demonstrating the various ways that medical instructions can be communicated with graphics as well as the role of librarians, and libraries as non-threatening sources for health information.
Schneider, J., on behalf of the Consumer Health Library Panel, Veterans Affairs Library Network. Health literacy resources. http://www1.va.gov/valnet/docs/HealthLiteracyResources.pdf. Published May 2008. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A comprehensive list of the best resources available for learning about health literacy and explaining the issues to others.
Birdsong, L. and the Information Literacy Initiative at the University of Washington Information School. Searcher in Charge: Health Literacy. YouTube web site. http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=9994DE746E3E63A7
Published 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A series of videos available to anyone who wants to search for health information and they offer instruction as to how to find and analyze the results. Closer to "information literacy" than "health literacy" as it assumes a high level of searching ability.
Helping Older Adults Search for Health Information Online: A Toolkit for Trainers. NIHSeniorHealth web site. http://nihseniorhealth.gov/toolkit/toolkit.html. Published November 27, 2007. Updated July 20, 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Excellent resource for step-by-step teaching seniors how to use the computer from mouse to navigating the NIH Senior Health website.
Easy to read materials online
Each agency determines their criteria for developing and posting "easy-to-read" materials. Some of the resources are interactive tutorials, some include clear line drawings to illustrate procedures and some materials are just not that easy to read. Using the readability tools (see below) the grade level of the text can be measured.
American College of Physicians Foundation. Patient materials. ACP foundation web site. http://www.acpfoundation.org/patients.htm. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Easy-to-read publications. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Disorders and Kidney Diseases web site.
http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/HealthEducation/HealthEzToRead. Updated: January 25, 2008. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Humana Foundation. Wellness information zone web site. http://www.wellzone.org/. Published September 2007. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A product of Humana, Inc. A plain language, attractive resource with both print and video information formats. Links to a variety of websites that have health information in other languages.
IHA Institute for Healthcare Advancement. What To Do for Health series. IHA Institute for Healthcare Advancement web site. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Written at the 3rd - 5th grade level, this series has been translated into a number of languages. Their own studies show the value of using these materials with patients and families. Teacher training manuals are also available.
March of Dimes. Easy-to-read materials. March of Dimes web site: product catalog. http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/2222_2269.asp. Accessed July 22, 2010.
National Library of Medicine. Easy-to-read. MedlinePlus web site.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/easytoread/all_easytoread.html. Published November 2003. Updated July 17, 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Materials are categorized as easy-to-read by the sponsoring agency. The site includes information about how to write health materials in an easy-to-read format. The FRY readability test is also available at this site.
AskMe3. Partnership for Clear Health Communication at the National Patient Safety Foundation web site. http://www.npsf.org/askme3/. Accessed July 22, 2010.
National Patient Safety Foundation promotion to help patients to be their own best health advocate. Using these 3 questions can distill the most important information to take from their doctor appointment.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. http://www.healthypeople.gov/. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A coalition of over 400 agencies that developed national objectives with a focus on disease prevention and wellness promotion.
Questions are the Answer. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality web site.
http://www.ahrq.gov/questionsaretheanswer/. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers a way for patients to build a list of 10 basic questions and further personalize the information needs so that this list can be brought to a physician or pharmacist.
Quick guide to health literacy. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion health communication activities web site. http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/default.htm. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Good section on "Consumer and Patient e-health" containing links to other sites. Information not contained elsewhere.
Speak up initiatives. The Joint Commission web site. http://www.jointcommission.org/GeneralPublic/Speak+Up/. Updated March 3, 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A campaign sponsored by the Joint Commission in their effort to address literacy and health. Similar in intent to AskMe3, but different questions.
Weiss, BD et al. and the American Medical Association Foundation and American Medical Association. Health literacy and patient safety: help patients understand. Manual for clinicians. 2nd ed.
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/367/healthlitclinicians.pdf. Published May 2007. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Written for the medical practitioner, it is a practical teaching guide for implementing ways for lower literacy patients to succeed in the health care system.
"What did the doctor say?:" improving health literacy to protect patient safety. The Joint Commission Public Policy Initiatives web site. Published February 2007. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Written for the policy makers of health institutions - The Joint Commission’ s policy paper addressing effective communication and health literacy as a safety issue in medical care.
Trottier A. WordsCount web site. http://www.wordscount.info/. Published Spring 2001. Updated July 2009. Accessed July 22, 2010.
This site contains numerous tools for determining the grade levels of any text. The site is growing and there will be additional resources as it develops.
WATS.ca. Determining Readability web site.*
http://www.wats.ca/show.php?contentid=30. Accessed July 22, 2010.
This site provides information about various ways to determine grade level for written content, including how to access and use the Word feature "Readability Statistics" for Word documents.