This essay firstly describes the definition of health literacy. In the second, the importance of literacy has been analyzed. Then, the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes has been discussed. This essay demonstrates low health literacy is related to negative health outcomes as well. It also illustrate that health literacy has been impacted by age, culture and several social determinants. This paper also provides some recommendation to assisting people with low health literacy.
According to the report, health literacy has been identified as the degree to which people have the ability to achieve, process, and understand basic health information, and use that information to make proper health decisions (DHHS 2010). It includes the ability to comprehend instructions of medicine, medical education brochures, appointment slips and other health-related material (DHHS 2010). Health literacy is not only the capacity of reading, but also requires correctly using health information relating to health issues such as disease prevention, accident prevention and first aid (Australian Bureau Statistics, 2008).
The relationship between health literacy and health outcomes is complex. According to the research, low health literacy is associated with poor health outcomes (AHRQ 2011). The consequence of low health literacy includes non-compliances, medication errors, insurances issues and unhealthy life style. Low health literacy is also associated to higher hospitalization, greater use of emergency services, and poorer ability to interpret labels and health messages (Berkman, Sheridan, Donahue, Halpern & Crotty 2011). People with low health literacy have higher risk of chronic diseases, lower accessing of mammography screening and influenza vaccine (Berkman et al. 2011). A good acknowledge of health literacy is really important in health care. It will help people describe symptoms correctly, improve communication between clients and