Robert J Adams
David H Wilson
Catherine L Hill
Health literacy is the ability to understand and interpret the meaning
of health information in written, spoken or digital form and how this
motivates people to embrace or disregard actions relating to health.
This article aims to describe the concept of health literacy, its
importance and its applications in the general practice setting.
Australia trails behind other western countries in practical
applications of health literacy. Health literacy underpins the efficiency
of consultations, health promotion efforts, and self management
programs. Recognition of the health literacy status of individuals
allows use of appropriate communication tools. This can save time
and effort and improve patient satisfaction and health outcomes.
Health literacy (HL) is more than just the ability to read, write, and understand numbers in the health setting. Health literacy is the cognitive ability to understand and interpret the meaning of health information in written, spoken or digital form. It impacts on whether people are able to embrace or disregard actions relating to health, and make sound health decisions in the context of every day life.
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