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Health Literacy as a Tool to Improve the Public Understanding of Alzheimer's Disease

Title: Health Literacy as a Tool to Improve the Public Understanding of Alzheimer's Disease.
Name(s): Kobylarz, Fred, author
Pomidor, Alice, author
Pleasant, Andrew F., 1962-, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2010
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The ultimate goal of health literacy is to improve care by enhancing the patient's quality of life, maximizing clinical outcomes, and reducing inequities in health. Successful restructuring of the healthcare system to make it more effective, efficient, and equitable demands that health literacy be integrated as a key source of theoretical and empirical data regarding patients' needs and wishes. This applies across the life course, but it is especially true for the increasing numbers of older adults who must deal with the medical care system the most, yet often comprehend medical information the least. Nearly nine out of ten people in the United States do not have the level of proficiency in health literacy skills necessary to successfully navigate the healthcare system. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), populations overrepresented at the lowest levels of health literacy (below basic level) in the United States include people over age 65, those who did not graduate from high school, persons who did not speak English before starting school, people who have poor health status, those who are of racial and ethnic minority groups, and individuals without medical insurance. An increasing number of efforts are ongoing across the United States and internationally to address health literacy. Significant national initiatives include Healthy People 2010, the Joint Commission's report "Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety," and the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services Office of the Surgeon General's "Workshop on Improving Health Literacy." Other organizations attempting to address health literacy include the American Medical Association and the Partnership for Clear Health Communication. Many organizations are launching successful health literacy–based interventions such as the Canyon Ranch Institute's Life Enhancement Program, an integrated approach to prevention and wellness. Additionally, there are a growing number of curricula addressing health literacy being developed by a wide range of organizations and individuals. Equally significant efforts are ongoing in a number of countries around the world, particularly Canada, Australia, and Switzerland. The purposes of this article are to familiarize readers with the concept of health literacy; demonstrate how health literacy can serve as a tool to improve the public's understanding of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the seventh leading cause of death; and suggest generally applicable strategies for clinicians.
Identifier: FSU_migr_geriatrics_faculty_publications-0041 (IID)
Keywords: health literacy, Alzheimer's Disease, elderly, older adults, patients, dementia
Note: Originally published online in Annals'>">Annals of Long-Term Care
Citation: Kobylarz FA, Pomidor AK, Pleasant A. Health literacy as a tool to improve the public understanding of Alzheimer's disease. Annals of Long Term Care 2010;18:34-40.
Subject(s): Diseases
Netherlands -- Civilization
Information literacy
Medical sciences
Mental illness
Nervous system -- Diseases
Health literacy
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Department of Geriatrics Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: Annals of Long-Term Care.
Issue: 1, 18

Choose the citation style.
Kobylarz, F., Pomidor, A., & Pleasant, A. F. (2010). Health Literacy as a Tool to Improve the Public Understanding of Alzheimer's Disease. Annals Of Long-Term Care. Retrieved from