The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has defined health literacy as the "degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions." Unfortunately, fully 22% of US adults have only basic and an additional 14% have below basic health literacy. The relationship between limited literacy and adverse health outcomes has been well documented, and seminal reports about health literacy have been issued by the Institute of Medicine, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the American Medical Association among others. Each of these reports advocates further research to develop an effective response and research in health literacy has begun to flourish. An important next step to cultivate this emerging research field is to create a national professional interdisciplinary home for investigators dedicated to health literacy research. In this grant application we propose to deliver a sixth annual conference along a multi-year trajectory dedicated to the promotion of the field of health literacy research. This meeting will be designed to provide a venue to focus attention on health literacy research, emphasizing the role of health literacy research in the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities and on patient empowerment. This venue serves crucial functions for the field of health literacy by providing an incubator for young investigators and encouraging a cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge, collaboration, and creativity.
We aim to create an environment in which controversial topics within the research community can be openly discussed. Dr. Paasche-Orlow has served as a guest editor for special journal issues emerging from each of the past meetings;we plan to continue our successful dissemination efforts with another special issue on Health Literacy to be published by the Journal of Health Communication. We also plan to improve the meeting's Web site so that it can serve as a public resource for sharing information about health literacy measurement instruments. This year the meeting will take place on November 3-4, 2014 in Bethesda, MD.
The relationship between limited health literacy and adverse health outcomes has been well documented. An important next step to cultivate this emerging field is to create a national interdisciplinary home for investigators dedicated to health literacy research. In this application we propose the sixth annual conference dedicated to promoting the field of health literacy research with a focus on the role of health literacy in the elimination of health disparities and on promoting patient empowerment.
|McCormack, Lauren A; Rush, Steven R; Kandula, Namratha R et al. (2011) Health literacy research: looking forward. Introduction. J Health Commun 16 Suppl 3:5-8|
|Paasche-Orlow, Michael K; Wilson, Elizabeth A H; McCormack, Lauren (2010) The evolving field of health literacy research. J Health Commun 15 Suppl 2:5-8|