Importance Of Health Literacy

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Understanding health literacy and what it means is very important, especially if a person is a nurse or works in the healthcare system. According to Healthy People (2010), Health literacy means the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Patients that are at the biggest risk for low health literacy in our communities are patients the are part of our low-income communities, elderly, minorities and society members that have lower education levels. Unfortunately, the impact of low literacy on health promotion and health education is significant. Patients that have low health literacy are at risk for frequent hospitalization…show more content…
Any material that is distributed must be easy to read and easy to understand. If a healthcare provider were to hand out a brochure regarding heart health that is difficult to understand for the reader or patient, they are likely to discard it without taking in the message that is trying to be relayed. Sadly, studies have shown that minorities from low income and poorly educated families are often the most likely to suffer from some sort of heart disease or cardiovascular condition. This same population is the one that is often plagued with low health literacy. Therefore, it so important to ensure that the material they are receiving is material they can…show more content…
One, it would be beneficial to add a bit more space between each line. When looking at the brochure, it can be a bit overwhelming to the eye. It appears there are a lot more words then there are because of how closely the lines are spaced over each other. Second, in agreement with the SMOG recommendation decreasing just a few of the three syllable words would make a big difference. This brochure is so close to being where it needs to be in regard to the sixth-grade reading level, that just the smallest amount of change is required to make a big difference. Thirdly, adding a color other then red, white or black to key words, would aid in making the important takeaways from the brochure pop and catch the readers eye. This pop of added color could catch the readers eye and promote engagement with the material. The SMOG readability formula is an excellent tool to use when creating educational material for our patients. As healthcare providers it is important to always attempt to be inclusive of our whole population. Writing educational healthcare material that is easily read by everyone is a small step to ensuring our communities become healthier every day. Applying the SMOG readability formula to our written material will help in making sure everyone has access to material that can help save
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