What is Health Literacy?
“The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions”
-HHS Healthy People 2010
Health Literacy is the ability to read, understand and act on Healthcare info. People with low functional Health Literacy are:
- Less likely to understand written health information
- Less likely to understand how to take their medicines
- Less likely to be able to engage in self-care
- Less likely to act upon necessary directions
- Less likely to say that they don’t understand!
Health literacy affects people’s ability to:
- Navigate the healthcare system, including filling out complex forms and locating providers and services
- Share personal information, such as health history, with providers
- Engage in self-care and chronic-disease management
- Understand mathematical concepts such as probability and risk
Read more on health literacy and Plain language at health.gov