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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 http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/default.aspx
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4, 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.