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Health Information Literacy

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Title: Health Information Literacy


1
Health Information Literacy
  • Miami Dade College, Medical Center Library

2
Learning Outcomes
  • By the end of this tutorial, participants will be
    able to
  • Describe the principles of Health Information
    Literacy.
  • Identify quality health education materials
    written at varying literacy levels, in various
    formats and in other languages.
  • Use plain language to share health information.
  • Select trusted health education web sites.
  • Instruct consumers/patients to evaluate health
    education materials for authority, bias, and
    currency.
  • Explain information and instructions clearly.

3
What is Literacy?
  • Its not just the ability to read and write!
  • Literacy is the ability to use information to
  • Function in society
  • Achieve ones goals
  • Develop ones knowledge and potential.

Source National Assessment of Adult Literacy
http//nces.ed.gov/NAAl/fr_definition.asp
4
A Health Information Literate Person Can
  • Recognize a health information need
  • Identify likely information sources
  • Search the information sources to retrieve
    relevant information
  • Evaluate the quality of the information
  • Use the information to make good health decisions

5
Challenge 1 English Literacy Levels
  • Most health materials are written at the 10th
    grade level or above
  • In the U.S., approx. 48 of adults read at or
    below the 8th grade reading level
  • In Florida, 51 of adults read at or below 8th
    grade reading level
  • In Dade County, 64 of adults read at or below
    8th grade reading level
  • In the City of Miami, 86 of adults read at or
    below 8th grade reading level

6
Health Literacy Demographics
  • Men had lower health literacy than women.
  • Adults age 65 and older had the lowest health
    literacy of any age group.
  • Hispanics had the lowest health literacy of any
    racial/ethnic group.
  • Health literacy rates improved with each higher
    level of educational attainment.
  • Adults living below poverty had lower health
    literacy than others.

7
Challenge 2 Unreliable Sources
  • 86 searched independently rather than seek
    advice about which web sites to use
  • 72 expressed trust in most or all information
    found online
  • 69 said they had not seen any wrong or
    misleading health information on the web
  • 68 said online information impacted their health
    choices

8
Where do most adults with an at or below 5th
grade reading level get their health information?
  • Books and/or brochures
  • Health care professionals
  • Radio and/or television
  • Family and/or friends
  • Magazines and/or newspapers

9
Where do most adults with a college reading level
get their health information?
  • Books and/or brochures
  • Health care professionals
  • Radio and/or television
  • Family and/or friends
  • Magazines and/or newspapers

10
What did all literacy levels report as the
written source most used for health information?
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Books and/or brochures
  • Internet

11
Challenge 3 Evaluation Skills
  • None of the participants in a research study
    checked about us sections, disclaimers or
    disclosure statements.
  • Participants usually chose one of the first
    results displayed by the search engine.
  • Few participants remembered from which websites
    they retrieved information.

12
How Health Care Professionals Can Address These
Challenges
  • Identify quality health education materials
    written at varying literacy levels, in various
    formats and in other languages.
  • Limit use of medical jargon.
  • Direct consumers/patients to trusted health
    education web sites.
  • Instruct consumers/patients to evaluate health
    education materials for authority, bias, and
    currency.
  • Explain information and instructions clearly.

13
Easy-To-Read English/Spanish Patient Education
Materials
  • United States Food Drug Administration
  • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
  • National Digestive Disease Information
    Clearinghouse
  • National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
  • National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information
    Clearinghouse

14
Audiovisual Formats Patient Education Materials
  • Pictograms
  • United States Pharmacopeial Convention
  • Symbols for Use in Health Care
  • Picture Stories
  • Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
  • National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc.
  • Interactive Tutorials
  • MedlinePlus
  • Videos
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Available in Spanish

15
Health Materials In Multiple Languages
  • Centers for Disease Control Prevention
  • MedlinePlus
  • Healthy Roads Media
  • Health Information Translations
  • Ethnomed
  • Refugee Health Information Network

16
Trusted Health Web Sites
  • cancer.gov
  • Centers for Disease Control Prevention
  • familydoctor.org
  • healthfinder
  • HIV InSite
  • Kidshealth
  • Mayo Clinic
  • MEDEM
  • MEDLINEplus
  • NOAH
  • Available in Spanish and/or other languages

17
Limit Medical/Legal Jargon

Additional examples are available at
http//www.pfizerhealthliteracy.com/media/words-t
o-watch.html
18
Clarify Expiration Dates
  • Dates are written in many different ways
  • September 6, 2008
  • Sept. 2008
  • 09-06-08
  • 2008/09
  • 09/2008
  • 09-2008

19
Expiration Dates
Should you keep or discard the above medications?
20
Evaluating Web Sites
  • Use the ABCs
  • Author
  • Bias
  • Currency

21
Evaluating Web Sites Author
  • Is there an About Us section? What does it say
    about the author of the web site?
  • Is there a way to contact the author(s)?
  • What does the web address say about the site?
  • .gov means a government agency
  • .org means a nonprofit group
  • .edu means an educational institution
  • .com means a commercial enterprise
  • tilde could represent a personal page

22
Evaluate this Sites Author
23
Evaluating Web Sites Bias
  • Are there advertisements on the site?
  • Are there endorsements on the site?
  • Are they hidden or visible?
  • Do these represent a conflict of interest?

24
Evaluate this Site for Bias
www.bedfordresearch.org
25
Evaluating Web Sites Currency
  • When was the site created?
  • When was the site last updated?
  • How frequently is it updated?
  • Are there dead links on the site?
  • How important is currency for your topic?

26
Evaluate this Site for Currency
27
Tips for Explaining Information and Instructions
Clearly
  • Repeat
  • Provide Examples
  • Be Specific
  • Back up with written/visual instructions
  • Ask about learning preference

28
Video Series
  • American Medical Associations Video on
  • Low Health Literacy You Cant Tell by Looking
  • http//www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/8035.html
  • ABC World News Series on Illiteracy in America
  • http//abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id4342814

29
Please complete a brief survey regarding your
perceptions of this tutorial. Your responses are
anonymous. Thank you!
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