Availability and Readability of Emergency Preparedness Materials for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and Older Adult Populations: Issues and Assessments [US]
This report looks at the findings of a literature review exploring the issues related to emergency preparedness materials (EPM) for hearing impaired and older adult populations. The primary focus of the review was to assess the availability and readability of materials for these populations and to recommend improvements. Neuhauser et al (2013) found no research about the readability of EPM aimed at this population. The authors collected EPM and interviewed staff from community based organisations serving heraing impaired and elderly adults. They found that all EPM tested above the recommended reading level for each group. Neuhauser et al (2013) recommended that more EPM for these populations should be made widely available, adhere to health literacy principles, and be accessible in alternative formats including American Sign Language. Developers should engage the intended users of EPM as co-designers and testers.
Oral Health Literacy – IOM Workshop Summary (US)
The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy was interested in exploring oral health literacy research and how the research findings are translated into oral health practice. The roundtable held a workshop on March 29, 2012, to examine the field of oral health literacy. This document summarises the workshop. Topics include oral health literacy assessment, oral health literacy programs, state and national oral health literacy activities. Note: The PDF of this report is free to download. Click on: Download free PDF. Click on: Continue as a guest. Enter your email address and click: Continue.
Health numeracy in Japan: measures of basic numeracy account for framing bias in a highly numerate population [Jap]
Health numeracy is an important factor in how well people make decisions based on medical risk information. However, in many countries, including Japan, numeracy studies have been limited. To fill this gap, Okamoto et al (2012) evaluated health numeracy levels in a sample of Japanese adults by translating two well-known scales that objectively measure basic understanding of math and probability: the Schwartz scale and the Lipkus scale. The authors found that the sample population had a relatively high level of health numeracy and concluded that numeracy measures are still important determinants underlying susceptibility to framing bias. Okamoto et al (2012) concluded that identify individuals with low numeracy skills is important so that risk information can be presented in a way that enables them to correctly understand it. Further investigation was required on effective numeracy measures for such an intervention in Japan.
The Association among Literacy, Numeracy, HIV Knowledge and Health-Seeking Behavior: A Population-Based Survey of Women in Rural Mozambique [Moz]
Limited literacy skills are common in the United States and are related to lower HIV knowledge and worse health behaviours and outcomes. The extent of these associations is unknown in countries like Mozambique, where no rigorously validated literacy and numeracy measures exist. Ciampa et al (2012) adapted the Wide Range Achievement Test version 3 (WRAT – 3) to test the validity of the of each subscale in a non-Western context. Ciampa et al (2012) concluded that the literacy and numeracy subscales are valid for use with rural Mozambican women. Limited literacy and numeracy skills were common and associated with lower HIV knowledge. Further study is needed to determine the extent to which addressing literacy/numeracy will lead to improved health outcomes.
Literacy, Cognitive Ability, and the Retention of Health-Related Information About Colorectal Cancer Screening
This study by Wilson et al (2010) examines the extent to which cognition explains the relationship between literacy and retention of health information. Primary care patients aged 40 to 85 years watched a video about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and then answered knowledge-based questions about the video's content as well as a literacy assessment and cognitive assessments measuring processing speed, working memory, and-long term memory. A week later, available participants completed the knowledge assessment a second time. The authors note that design and intervention strategies for educational tools should consider cognitive factors such as working memory demands in addition to focusing on the readability of materials.
Health literacy: setting an international collaborative research agenda
In this article, Protheroe et al (2009) discuss the 36th Annual Meeting of the North American Primary Care Research Group's session entitled "Studying Health Literacy: Developing an International Collaboration". The debate centred around three distinct themes, including: (1) refining HL definitions and conceptual models, (2) HL measurement and assessment tools, and (3) developing a collaborative international research agenda.
Promoting Health Literacy
This report by McCray (2004) reviews some of the extensive literature in health literacy, much of it focused on the intersection of low literacy and the understanding of basic health care information. Several articles describe methods for assessing health literacy as well as methods for assessing the readability of texts, although generally these latter have not been developed with health materials in mind. Other studies have looked more closely at the mismatch between patients' literacy levels and the readability of materials intended for use by those patients. A number of studies have investigated the phenomenon of literacy from the perspective of patients' interactions in the health care setting, the disenfranchisement of some patients because of their low literacy skills, the difficulty some patients have in navigating the health care system, the quality of the communication between doctors and their patients including the cultural overlay of such exchanges, and ultimately the effect of low literacy on health outcomes. Finally, the impact of new information technologies has been studied by a number of investigators. There remain many opportunities for conducting further research to gain a better understanding of the complex interactions between general literacy, health literacy, information technologies, and the existing health care infrastructure.
Parental Understanding of Infant Health Information: Health Literacy, Numeracy and the Parental Health Literacy Activities Test (PHLAT)
The objective of this study by Kumar et al (2010) was to assess parental health literacy and numeracy skills in understanding instructions for caring for young children, and to develop and validate a new parental health literacy scale, the Parental Health Literacy Activities Test (PHLAT). While the test is not relevent in the New Zealand context the researchers conclude that many parents do not understand common health information required to care for their infants.
Addressing Low Literacy and Health Literacy in Clinical Oncology Practice
In this paper, Garcia et al (2011) provide an overview of currently available guidelines and resources to improve how the needs of patients with diverse literacy skills are met by cancer care providers and clinics. They present recommendations for health literacy assessment in clinical practice and ways to enhance the usability of health information and services by improving written materials and verbal communication, incorporating multimedia and culturally appropriate approaches, and promoting health literacy in cancer care settings. The paper also includes a list of additional resources that can be used to develop and implement health literacy initiatives in cancer care clinics.
Adequate health literacy is associated with higher heart failure knowledge and self care confidence in hospitalized patients
The purpose of this study by Dennison et al (2011) was to examine prevalence of inadequate health literacy; reliability of the Dutch Heart Failure Knowledge Scale (DHFKS) and Self Care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI); and differences in heart failure (HF) knowledge, HF self care, and 30-day readmission rate by health literacy level among patients hospitalized with HF. Those with adequate health literacy were younger and had higher education level, HF knowledge scores, and HF self care confidence compared to those with marginal or inadequate health literacy. Self care maintenance and management scores and 30-day readmission rate did not differ by health literacy level.