Health literacy is defined 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."1 The skills required encompass reading, listening, analytics, numeracy, and decision-making, plus the ability to navigate a complex and changing healthcare delivery system. Healthcare providers, patients, and other stakeholders have important roles in health literacy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):2
Anyone who provides health information and services to others, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, or public health worker, also needs health literacy skills to
Given the increasing complexity of cancer diagnosis, treatment, follow-up with survivorship care plans, health literacy is integral to delivery of patient-centered care.
1. Nielsen-Bohlman L, Panzer AM, Kindig DA (eds). Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Literacy. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2004.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is Health Literacy?
With this education project ACCC seeks to help cancer programs across the country to improve survivorship programming through the application of the health literacy principles.
Health Literacy & Clear Communication is a dynamic eCourse that delivers simple methods to improve patient-provider communications. Engage with oncology-specific exercises, activities, and situations and receive real-time feedback and suggestions to put evidence-based strategies into practice.
Explore the eCourse
Practical strategies for increasing health literacy in patients in order to improve healthcare engagement and shared decision-making, with a special focus on eHealth literacy and financial health literacy. (August 20, 2020)
Health literacy related to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment follow-up requires on-going attention. This webinar will give you a deeper understanding of the importance of evaluating your cancer program's current health literacy efforts. (October 30, 2020)
As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and restrictions loosens for most of the U.S., we'll discuss how patient education has become even more critical during this transition.