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MCPHS University


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Overview / Abstract:

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. More than 77 million adults in the United States possess limited health literacy skills and will likely encounter difficulties interpreting and acting upon health information. Our patients come to us with various levels of education or literacy, and they may prefer to speak a different language, and these issues can become barriers for them to understand health information. As researchers realized this was an issue, they began to talk about health literacy which is defined as the capacity to: Obtain, process and understand basic health information and services. And to make appropriate health care decisions or act on health information. And lastly the ability to access or navigate the health care system, which we all know is extremely complicated. Any patient who does not read or write well, has trouble communicating or understanding verbal communications about health, speaks a different language, or has trouble understanding or using numbers could have trouble with these areas. It is essential for health systems and health care professionals to develop a comprehensive response to the health literacy challenge and help patients and families better understand and act for the good of their or a loved one's health.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this activity, the participant should be able to:
Recognize the extent of low health literacy in the US
Identify the warning signs that our patients may have low health literacy
Develop strategies to improve patient understanding
Demonstrate effective health literacy practices using specific examples


Apr 20, 2021


Nurse Practitioner , Nursing CNE, Pharmacy CPE, Physician CME, Physician Assistant CME



Credits / Hours




Presenters / Authors / Faculty

Donna Horn, MS, RPh, DPh

Keywords / Search Terms

MCPHS University Health Literacy Free CE CME

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