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Health Literacy, Consequences of

  • By: Roxanne Parrott
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Individuals have a broad range of health information needs to promote their health and well-being. These information needs include content about causes of good health status, prevention of poor health, and insights regarding treatment options, such as possible side effects linked to medications. Health illiteracy, the inability to comprehend materials designed to address health information needs, poses a formidable barrier to satisfying individuals' health information needs and results in a long list of consequences. The scope of content aligned with health illiteracy encompasses informed consent documents, prescription and discharge instructions, and appointment cards and insurance forms, as well as health education materials. The scope of consequences associated with health illiteracy includes personal, social, and societal outcomes. The consequences of health illiteracy warrant attention from health ...

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