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
Creating Health Materials
Chew, K. Creating patient education materials. University of Minnesota libraries: biomedical library web site. http://www.biomed.lib.umn.edu/guides/creating-patient-education-materials. Updated June 9, 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A comprehensive resource of websites on health literacy.
Doak CC, Doak LG, Root JH. Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills, 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company; 1996. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/resources/doak-book/index.html. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A classic text on health literacy by the Doaks that can be downloaded from this site. It has stood the test of 30 years’ time.
Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration, Consumer Education and Engagement Collaborative. Creating Consumer Education and Engagement Tools: A Guide to Literacy and Language Considerations. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Health Information Technology web site. Published March 31, 2009. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A compact document that argues for plain language, how to assess the reading levels of materials and translation of health information.
Lane P, Blanco M, Ford L, Mirenda HS. The Health Literacy Style Manual. Covering Kids & Families web site. http://www.coveringkidsandfamilies.org/resources/index_InfoCenterID=194.html. Published October 2005. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A product of Maximus, a company that provides services to a variety of government agencies that work with families and children. The manual is an excellent primer for addressing all the major categories for meeting the needs of those challenged with health literacy.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Health literacy online: a guide to writing and designing easy-to-use health Web sites. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion web site. http://www.health.gov/healthliteracyonline/. Published 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
A guide of strategies for writing and designing easy-to-read, consumer-centered websites.
About plain language. Center for Plain Language web site. http://www.centerforplainlanguage.org/aboutpl/index.html. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Plain language resource for all settings, not just health care.
Ali, N. Health literacy now web site. http://www.healthliteracynow.org. Accessed July 22, 2010.
The creation of Nadia Ali, M.D., with a variety of plain language materials, a new blog and a manual outlining steps she took to bring health literacy awareness to the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Marketing. Plain language thesaurus for health communications. Harborview Medical Center respiratory care department web site. http://depts.washington.edu/respcare/public/index.php?view=article&id=77%3Aplain-language-thesaurus-for-health-communications&option=com_content&Itemid=53. Published October 2007. Accessed July 22, 2010.
44 pages of medical words and their plain language counterpart.
Plain language medical dictionary. University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library web site. http://www.lib.umich.edu/health-sciences-libraries/plain-language-medical-dictionary. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Click on the word and obtain a plain language definition.
Plain language word list. Health research for action web site. http://healthresearchforaction.org/downloads/plain-language-word-list.pdf. Accessed July 22, 2010.
With two columns entitled, “Instead of” and “Try,” there are many options for finding plain language equivalents to medical language.
USP pictograms. U. S. Pharmacopeia web site. http://www.usp.org/audiences/consumers/pictograms/form.html. Accessed July 22, 2010.
The United States Pharmacopeia sets standards for both prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine. They also provide standardized images, pictograms, for medication use. Registration required but no fee.
Health Materials in Other Languages
Deaf MD: bridging medicine and the deaf world web site. http://www.deafmd.org/. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Health information in sign language videos. A product of the NIH, CDC, Gallaudet University as well as other recognized partner agencies.
Healthy Roads Media web site. www.healthyroadsmedia.org. Published 2002. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Twenty-six topics in various languages and in various formats. DVDs are available for purchase of these presentations.
Missouri Hospital Association. Health Translations web site. www.healthtranslations.com. Published 2003. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Sponsored by the Missouri Hospital Association with 13 major topics and numerous articles within each topic in PDF format for printing. Can adjust text size.
National Library of Medicine. Health information in multiple languages. MedlinePlus web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/languages/languages.html. Published May 2008. Updated June 26, 2009. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Not all topics in all languages, but this website should be the first stop on the search for health information in over 40 different languages.
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.