Health Literacy

Health Literacy

The government has defined health literacy as “The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Healthy People 2020, 2011). Scholars have demonstrated that health literacy skills are stronger predictors of health status than age, income, employment status, education level, and race or ethnicity. Individuals with inadequate health literacy often struggle with basic tasks when managing a chronic condition such as reading and comprehending prescription bottles, appointment slips, self-management instructions, and educational brochures. The problems are compounded when the individual has several conditions requiring different medications. Inadequate health literacy can be a barrier to controlling disease that can lead to medication errors, increased hospitalization, poor health outcomes, and greater health care costs.

For this Discussion, review this week’s learning resources, including the media “Health Literacy.” As you review the resources, consider the differences between health literacy and literacy. Then consider the populations who could be at risk for health related problems due to low health literacy levels, as well as how you might consider varying health literacy levels in your public health campaign.

Healthy People 2020. (2011). Retrieved from

With these thoughts in mind:

submit a 750-1000 word Discussion post to address the following:

·         Provide an example that illustrates the difference between literacy and health literacy.

·         Describe one potential health-related consequence to low health literacy and a population at risk for this potential consequence, explaining why they are at risk.

·         Explain two ways the information provided in the media and resources may impact the development of your public health campaign and why.

Be specific and use examples to illustrate your points. Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

·         Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting and ask a probing question.

·         Offer and support an opinion.

·         Validate an idea with your own experience.

·         Make a suggestion.

·         Expand on your colleague’s posting and ask a probing question.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.


·         Course TextHealth Communication in the New Media Landscape.


o    Chapter 1, “The Challenge of Health Care and Disability”

o    Chapter 11, “Health Literacy in the Digital World”

·         Article: Jibaja-Weiss, M. L., et al. (2011). Entertainment education for breast cancer surgery decisions: A randomized trial among patients with low health literacyPatient Education and Counseling, 84(1), 41-48.
Copyright 2011 by ELSEVIER HEALTH SCIENCE JOURNALS. Reprinted by permission of ELSEVIER HEALTH SCIENCE JOURNALS via the Copyright Clearance Center.

·         Article: Zoellner, J., et al. (2011). Health literacy is associated with health eating index scores and sugar-sweetened beverage intake: Findings from the rural lower Mississippi deltaJournal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(7), 1012-1020.
Copyright 2011 by ELSEVIER HEALTH SCIENCE JOURNALS. Reprinted by permission of ELSEVIER HEALTH SCIENCE JOURNALS via the Copyright Clearance Center.

·         Article: Bonuck, K.A., Schwartz, B., Schechter, C. (2016) Sleep health literacy in head start families and staff: exploratory study of knowledge, motivation, and competencies to promote healthy sleep. Sleep Health. Mar;2(1):19-24. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

·         Article: Qin, L., Xu, H. (2016). A cross-sectional study of the effect of health literacy on diabetes prevention and control among elderly individuals with prediabetes in rural China. BMJ Open.  May 27;6(5):e011077. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.  

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