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Health Literacy

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Title: Health Literacy
Other Titles: Policy Brief: Health Literacy
Contributor: University of Missouri-Columbia. School of Medicine. Center for Health Policy
Keywords: health literacy
cost of low health literacy
Date: 2006-07
Publisher: Center for Health Policy, University of Missouri - School of Medicine
Series/Report no.: Policy brief (Center for Health Policy)
Abstract: Health literacy is “the ability of an individual to access, understand, and use health-related information and services to make appropriate health decisions.” For a woman with diabetes, health literacy means understanding the importance of tracking her blood sugar levels and knowing how to do so. For a man with high cholesterol, health literacy means being aware of the warnings on his prescription bottle, as well as understanding the importance of changing his diet. For all individuals, their level of health literacy directly influences the quality of care they receive. Recent research has found health literacy to be a better predictor of health status than age, ethnicity,or socioeconomic status.

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