Literature Review of Health Literacy Education: Training Tools and Resources

health improvement and innovation centre

This literature review provides an overview of evidence-based health literacy education, training tools and resources for health professionals available in New Zealand and overseas.
This report begins by defining the evolving (and relatively new to New Zealand) concept of Health Literacy, ” [it] involves more than using literacy skills in a health context. Literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge, such as reading, writing, speaking, listening and numeracy, are central to health literacy.” Definitions fall into two categories, an individual skill set and an interactive practice, outlined on pp. 3-4.
The report concludes with ways that health literacy demands can be reduced:

  • making it easier for patients to navigate health services, systems and processes
  • encouraging health conversations and helping people to identify and ask questions
  • finding out what people know as the starting point of any health conversation
  • tailoring the conversation to take into account what they already know
  • making the amount of information or instructions passed on manageable for the patient and their whānau
  • checking that you have been clear when talking to a patient by asking them to ‘teach-back’
  • encouraging whānau involvement in health conversations
  • going through written information with patients and whānau rather than handing it out to be read later
  • making medicine and treatment information clearer
  • following up and monitoring prescribed medicines and instructions
  • re-designing health education resources, letters and forms so they are clear to the audience.

To find the report, click here.

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