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Keyword: public health

A Prescription Is Not Enough: Improving Public Health with Health Literacy (PDF of presentation). Andrew Pleasant – 2013 [US]

This is the presentation that accompanied the unveiling of Pleasant et al's paper "A Prescription Is Not Enough: Improving Public Health with Health Literacy". This paper was commissioned by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy for their workshop "Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health: A Workshop" (November 21, 2013 in Irvine, California).

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A Prescription Is Not Enough: Improving Public Health with Health Literacy – 2013 [US]

This paper, by Pleasant et al (2013), was commissioned by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy for their workshop "Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health: A Workshop". Health literacy is always present, but too often neglected. This paper focuses on the use - and the lack of use - of health literacy within efforts to address public health in the United States. In particular, this article focuses on efforts within state, local, tribal, and territorial public health organisations. Overall, while a growing body of evidence strongly suggests that health literacy can be effective in public health when explicitly addressed, the concept and associated best practices of health literacy do not seem to be consistently or universally used within public health organisations. As a result, the effectiveness of state, local, tribal, and territorial public health efforts is reduced and public health suffers.

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Institute of Medicine. Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health: A Workshop. Welcome and Introduction (video) – 2013 [US]

Roundtable Chair George Isham's welcome and introduction to the November 21, 2013 Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy workshop Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health in Irvine, California.

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A cross-sectional study of pandemic influenza health literacy and the effect of a public health campaign [Aus]

This study by Jhummon-Mahadnac et al (2012) sought to ascertain the understanding of 2009 pandemic (H1N1) influenza and relevant infection control measures in an emergency department population and to assess the effectiveness of education campaigns in informing the public about the pandemic. This is the first Australian study to correlate the general public’s knowledge of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza with a health department public health campaign. Jhummon-Mahadnac et al (2012) found the knowledge regarding pandemic influenza was high in this emergency department population and positively affected by official campaigns. The authors recommend that pandemic planning should address knowledge gaps and the impression that authorities had exaggerated the public-health threat.

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Preparing for an Epidemic of Limited Health Literacy: Weathering the Perfect Storm

Parker et al (2008): Empirical data collected over the past two decades have demonstrated strong links between low literacy skills and poor health outcomes, including mortality. Recently, the Educational Testing Service released a relevant report predicting that our nation is at great risk as a result of declining adult literacy, shifting demographics, and a changing economy. It is essential to understand how these educational and socioeconomic changes will impact health care and prepare for a likely epidemic of limited health literacy. A formative public health response should include seeking out new strategies for health systems to advance our public’s health literacy, while working with the educational system to better equip younger generations with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate health care.

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Understanding the Internal and External Validity of Health Literacy Interventions: A Systematic Literature Review Using the RE-AIM Framework

In this study by Allen et al (2011) the authors conducted a systematic literature review, using the RE-AIM framework, with the goal of determining what information is available to inform research to practice translation of health promotion interventions developed to address health literacy. They suggest that the current research on health promotion for participants with low health literacy provides insufficient information to conclude whether interventions for health literacy can attract the target population, achieve an effect that is sustainable, or be generalized outside of clinical settings.

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Active-Learning Strategies to Develop Health Literacy Knowledge and Skills

The objective of this study by Devraj et al (2010) is to implement active-learning exercises in a required pharmacy course and assess their impact on students' knowledge and confidence in identifying and communicating with patients with low health literacy. The authors conclude that the addition of active-learning activities was effective in teaching health literacy concepts to pharmacy students.

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Which providers can bridge the health literacy gap in lifestyle risk factor modification education: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

This review by Dennis et al (2012) reviewed 52 health literacy interventions for upskilling the health literacy of patients. Each intervention was found within a primary care setting in the United States. Results find that most initiatives are successful in upskilling health literacy, however, the measure of success depends on the intensity of the intervention.

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Back to Basics: Why Basic Research Is Needed to Create Effective Health Literacy Interventions

This paper by Johnson et al (2011) is United States policy centric). Limited health literacy is increasingly recognized as a public health problem. Growing recognition of the problem—and the need for solutions—creates an imperative for the field of health literacy research to identify effective interventions. The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy (U.S. DHHS, 2010) recommends increased basic research in health literacy. This paper elaborates on this call by explicating what is meant by basic research and describing several of the ways in which basic research will benefit the field of health literacy research and, particularly, progress toward designing successful interventions.

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Health Literacy, eHealth, and Communication: Putting the Consumer First: Workshop Summary

There is great enthusiasm over the use of emerging interactive health information technologies-often referred to as eHealth-and the potential these technologies have to improve the quality, capacity, and efficiency of the health care system. However, many doctors, advocacy groups, policy makers and consumers are concerned that electronic health systems might help individuals and communities with greater resources while leaving behind those with limited access to technology. This report by the National Academies Press in the US summarizes the outcome of a workshop held to discuss the current status of communication technology, the challenges for its use in populations with low health literacy, and the strategies for increasing the benefit of these technologies for populations with low health literacy.

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