malek Essay

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America's Health Literacy: Why We Need Accessible Health Information. (2008). U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved November 3, 2013 from http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/issuebrief/#health
This brief defines health literacy, describes how it is essential to promote health in the individual and communities, and provides data about the current status of health literacy within the United States. The goal of the brief is to show key findings and present policy implications of the first National Assessment of Adult Literacy. It was found that only 12 percent of U.S. adults had what is considered proficient health literacy. Health literacy was found to be an issue for all racial and ethnic groups. Groups that were more likely to have low health literacy included those with lower educational levels, the elderly, and those that are uninsured or on Medicaid or Medicare. This brief is related to my project because it discusses how insurance and health literacy go hand in hand. Also, it discusses the accessibility of healthcare information, specifically with relation to the Internet, and how this leads to lower health literacy in certain groups. Also, it gives suggestions for policy changes, including the promotion of universal access to healthcare information, addressing health literacy as part of the disparities initiative, encouraging public insurers to provide model improvements, and promoting health education.

Current Research in Health Literacy. Pfizer Inc. Retrieved November 3, 2013 from http://www.pfizerhealthliteracy.com/public-policy-researchers/currentresearch.aspx
Pfizer pharmaceutical company's current research in health literacy is presented here. The importance of recognizing low levels of health literacy are discussed along with the role of universal precautions in order “to improve the accessibility and comprehension of health-related information for individuals from all sectors of society.” It goes on to suggest ways in which to make this happen including: standardization of health educational materials and documents, improved health education within schools, public health and nutritional messages, improved access to care, and a focus on insurance status. The website also goes over some of the existing tools that have been developed to measure health literacy and to inform researchers and health policies and programs. This will be helpful in providing ways to test for health literacy and for providing solutions to the issue presented in my project.

Davis, D.W., Jones, V.F., Logsdon, M.C., Ryan, L., Wilkerson-McMahon, M. (2013, October 21). Health Promotion in Pediatric Primary Care: Importance of Health Literacy and Communication Practices. Clinical Pediatrics, Sage Journals. Retrieved November 3, 2013 from http://cpj.sagepub.com.ezp3.lib.umn.edu/content/early/2013/10/18/0009922813506607.full.pdf+html
This article discusses how health literacy impacts...

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