- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): Health Literacy. Information about research and funding opportunities to improve health literacy as it relates to prevention, healthy living, chronic disease management, patient-centered health care, cultural competence, and health disparities. Includes tools, reports, and patient-education materials. Some materials are available in Spanish. Includes
Health Literacy Interventions and Outcomes: An Updated Systematic Review. (2011).
Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. (2010).
Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) and User's Guide: An Instrument To
Assess the Understandability and Actionability of Print and Audiovisual Patient
Education Materials. (2013).
- Center for Health Literacy Promotion (CHLP). Research summaries, papers, and presentations about promoting and measuring health literacy, particularly maternal health literacy, as a personal and community asset. Includes health literacy definitions, a blog, and links to additional resources. Presents information about Beginnings Guides, a set of teaching and learning materials in English and Spanish for promoting health literacy, reflective function, and other essential life skills for parents.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Health Literacy: Accurate, Accessible and Actionable Health Information for All. Information and tools for health professionals, policymakers, program administrators, advocates, child care centers, and schools to improve health literacy and public health. Features training modules, planning tools, a guide for creating easy-to-understand materials, a blog, and health-literacy activities by region and state.
- Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH): Health Literacy Studies (HLS). Research findings, strategies, and tools for assessing the health-literacy environment, assessing and developing health materials, integrating health literacy into adult education, and raising awareness about health literacy.
- Institute of Medicine (IOM): Roundtable on Health Literacy. Discussion papers, workshop summaries, and reports about the challenges facing health-literacy practice and research and approaches to promoting health literacy through mechanisms and partnerships in both the public and the private sector. Includes
Health Literacy Implications for Health Care Reform: Workshop Summary. (2011).
Promoting Health Literacy to Encourage Prevention and Wellness: Workshop Summary. (2011).
Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations. (2012). [Discussion paper].
- MedlinePlus: Health Literacy. Links to information for consumers in English and Spanish about improving health literacy. Includes links to strategies for understanding medical terms, evaluating health information, and talking with doctors.
- National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC). Tools to increase the capacity of health and mental health programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service-delivery systems to address growing diversity and persistent disparities and to promote health and mental health equity.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH): Clear Communication. Defines health literacy, describes the plain-language approach to communication,
presents information about current research, and links to additional materials
on the topic.
- Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP): Health Literacy. Tools, research findings, reports, and other resources to help health and communication
professionals improve health literacy. Includes
Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites. (2010).
National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. (2010).
Quick Guide to Health Literacy. (2010).
- Plain Language: Improving Communication from the Federal Government to the Public. Federal plain-language guidelines, examples, tips, training tools, and background material.
Additional Electronic Resources
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 2013. Language
Access Plan. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 2012. Effective Communication Tools for Healthcare Professionals: Addressing Health
Literacy, Cultural Competency, and Limited English Proficiency, rev. ed. Rockville, MD: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). [Online
- McGee J. 2010. Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective. Baltimore, MD: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
- Office of Minority Health (OMH). 2013. National
Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and
Health Care. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). [Standards, Implementation Guide].
- Santoro K, Speedling C. 2011. The Case for Investing in Youth Health Literacy: One Step on the Path to Achieving
Health Equity for Adolescents. Washington, DC: National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation (NIHCM). [Issue brief].
Related MCH Library Resources
Health Literacy: Resource Brief. (February 2013). (Updated January 2014).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Library.
Reviewers: Suzanne Bronheim, Ph. D., National Center for Cultural Competence; Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Library; Shree Mohanty, M.A., M.S., R.D., L.D., Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Region V.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Library.