Center for Health Literacy Promotion - Action research for effective use of health info & services
Health Literacy Resources

Webinar: Health Literacy in Context - A Non-Clinical Framework for Research and Intervention. To view slides click here. To listen access archived webinar click here.

New Resource- A Must Read
Health Literacy: The Solid Facts  73 pages

This accessible report from W.H.O Europe distills the evidence on health literacy as a fundamental component of pursing health and well being in a modern society, and as a determinant of health.  Focus is on practical and effective ways advocates and frontline practitioners are taking action to strengthen people’s health literacy in everyday settings where people live, work, play, and learn. The report presents evidence on how actions in a range of settings and sectors can combine to empower and enable people to make sound health decisions  and carry them out in the context of everyday life.

Favorite line: Health literacy means empowerment.  p22

SAM Guide to selecting or producing health education materials that work This 36 page guide to selecting and producing health education materials that work for a particular audience uses the SAM Suitability Assessment of Materials with examples from the Beginnings Pregnancy Guide. The SAM synthesizes mounds of research on adult learning to rate materials on 21 factors known to affect comprehension and usability of information. It produces a a score that is useful for comparing materials under consideration and for evaluating information under development.Click here to download.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Consumers, the health system and health literacy:
Taking action to improve safety and quality.

The Worldwide Universities Health Literacy Network met for two days in conjunction with the Global Public Health Challenge in Southampton, England May 19-23, 2012.  Sandra Smith presented a summary of the Center for Health Literacy Promotion's action research program on promoting maternal health literacy as means of preventing non-communicable disease at the foundation of personal and public health.  View the slides and read Dr Smith's commentary.  Some findings are preliminary. All materials are copyrighted. For more information on the research see Research Summaries.

At the First Annual Research Meeting at the University of Washington Tower Sandra Smith presented a scientific poster on preliminary results of a study on the impacts of maternal depression on mothers’ health literacy in the context of home visitation.  To view the poster click here.

Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills-Second Edition
by Doak, Doak, & Root, 1996

Engaging Differences in Healthcare
Sandra Smith October 2006
To read the text click here.

Boston University Health Literacy Research Conference
2010 Conference Proceedings

Literacy Works strengthens the quality of adult literacy, parent education, and workforce development programs through a variety of trainings for professionals and volunteer tutors. Each year, nearly 1,000 trainees at community-based organizations gain knowledge and confidence to enhance the work they do with over 15,000 adult learners.

AHRQ Innovations Exchange
Home Visits Using Reflective Approach Improve Functional Health Literacy Among Low-Income Pregnant Women and New Parents

Nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using everyday health information to make good health decisions. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a meeting on May 27, 2010, to explore areas for research in health literacy, the relationship between health literacy and health disparities, and ways to apply information technology to improve health literacy.
*Sandra Smith is a reviewer for this publication

Patient Education Blog: No Time To Teach-The Essence of Patient & Family Education for Health Care Providers

Health Literacy Institute
The premier learning opportunity in plain language health communication

Health Literacy Special Collection
Tools and resources for Health Literacy initiatives

The Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective is a health literacy resource from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

This National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked, multisector effort to improve health literacy.

National Library of Medicine Webinar: Health Literacy: Beyond Better Information-Sandra Smith

Webinar: “Mining the web: Useful internet resources on health, culture and diversity.” Download the presentation slides and the resource document at http://www.diversityrx.org/events/webinar12 Future webinars are in the works! Presented Julia Puebla Fortier, Executive Director of DiversityRx

National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved

Parents as Teachers National Center, St. Louis: Missouri Parents as Teachers (PAT) Functional Health Literacy Demonstration Project
This project will integrate health literacy education into its PAT home-based parent education program. This program will increase:

  • PAT parent educators’ knowledge of functional health literacy (FHL).
  • PAT parent educators’ (PE) ability to accurately and comprehensively assess families’ health literacy needs and improve ability to triage resources for families.
  • Functional health literacy in participating PAT families in Butler County, MO.


County Health Rankings Show There is More to Health Than Health Care-How healthy is your county? A new set of reports rank the overall health of nearly every county in the nation, confirming for the second year the critical role that factors such as education, jobs, income, environment and access to health care play in how healthy people are and how long they live.

NLM updated the Health Literacy Special Query
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/queries/health_literacy.htmll, one of the Special Queries, to retrieve more health literacy relevant records in PubMed. The pre-formulated search now includes retrieval of citations to articles about self-care perception and articles about comprehension of food labels.
See more “preformulated” searches on PubMed online at

Any way they are defined, any way they are measured, health and literacy are inextricably linked. Parents’ literacy is a determinant of child health. Low literacy is a barrier to delivery of healthcare services and home visitation services. Achieving family goals and program goals for health, school readiness, healthy child development, and self-sufficiency depends on parents’ ability to use information and resources. For these reasons, literacy should be a priority for all MCH home visiting programs.
Sandra Smith, MPH, PhD

Demographic and caseload changes related to culturally/linguistically diverse (CLD) populations require cultural competence in order to provide clinically competent services. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association resources were developed to help you reflect on your current level of cultural competence to increase and improve service delivery.
A series of checklists were developed to heighten your awareness of providing services to CLD populations.

Health plans need culturally and linguistically appropriate materials for non-English speaking patients. From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Click here to read more.
To download the original document click here.

Health Literacy Resources
For a list click here.

Attributes of a Health Literate Organization
To download the document click here.

Free Online Course - Effective Communication Tools for Healthcare Professionals

Gateway to Health Communication & Social Marketing Practice

Clear Communication: A NIH Health Literacy Initiative

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit

HRSA-Culture, Language and Health Literacy

Health Literacy and Communities Seminar-15th October 2010 at LSBU

Health Literacy Screening Tools - HIV Guidelines 

Systems Practices for the Care of Socially at Risk Populations 


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