Background: Why does Health Literacy Matter?
- Healthcare practitioners often work with older persons with low health literacy without realizing that this issues limiting the success of their interventions. They may also lack awareness of the serious impact that low health literacy can have, since it is associated with lower reported health status, increased hospitalizations, and increased morbidity (Levasseur & Carrier, 2011).
- The current US healthcare system places increase demands on consumers to manage their own health (Smith & Gutman, 2011).
- Educators in the health professions must instill a sense of responsibility in future practitioners to understand the important role they play in promoting health literacy.
- Students in the health professions must acquire the tools necessary to empower their older adult and other clients using health literacy principles.
Poster presented at the 65th annual scientific meeting of Gerontological Society of America in San Diego, California.
Toth-Cohen, S. and Vause-Earland, T. Exploring the Depths of Health Literacy: Are We Teaching This and Why Does It Matter? Poster presentation at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 2012.