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Resources in Health literacy

Social determinants of health and health literacy

What are social determinants of health? Social determinants of health impact on our health outcomes. They are responsible for health inequities, which are unfair and avoidable differences that exist in health status. Social determinants of health are: Employment...

Health literacy – Using teach-back via an interpreter

What is teach-back and how does it help?  Teach-back is a technique to assess how well the clinician has explained the information in a way that the patient understands.  Teach-back encourages shared meaning between patient and clinician. It involves asking patients...

Health literacy – Planning, monitoring and evaluation

Why it is important to plan, monitor and evaluate health literacy? Measuring individual health literacy has often been the first step in addressing health literacy amongst target populations. But in order to align people’s skills and abilities with the complexities of...

Health literacy – Verbal communication

Why is verbal communication important? Most communication in a health service happens when the worker and client come together and talk. Health professionals and organisations can experience challenges in achieving effective verbal communication with clients from a...

Health literacy – Written communication

Why is written communication important? Health information is an important part of health literacy. Clients and the community need to be able to access, understand and act on health information. A lot of health information is presented in a complex way, and is often...

Health literacy – Using the teach-back technique

What is the teach-back technique? The teach-back technique is a tool that service providers can use when communicating with clients who have low health literacy. It assists service providers improve client comprehension. Steps in the teach-back technique Explain one...

Supportive systems for health literacy

Why strengthen organisational systems for health literacy? Health systems are complex. Health services can play a major role in assisting low health literacy clients to access services despite this complexity by: influencing how their services are structured  ensuring...

What is health literacy?

Health literacy is essential for maintaining good health and improving the quality of life. Conversely there is extensive evidence linking low health literacy to poor health outcomes. Health literacy is a concept that has been defined, measured and understood in many...

Assumptions in the communication encounter

Why is it important to consider assumptions when we communicate? Both clients and health professionals have pre-existing assumptions that they bring with them when they communicate in the health service environment. Assumptions and preconceptions are a result of...

Measurement of health literacy

Why measure health literacy? The measurement of health literacy is linked to improving client centred care in health services. Different health literacy measurement tools contribute to improving different elements of health literacy. Measuring individual health...