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Library outreach: overcoming health literacy challenges*


Journal Title:

Journal of the Medical Library Association


Volume 93, Number 4 Suppl


, Pages S81-S85

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Objective: This paper examines the powerful influences of consumer health literacy on access to and use of relevant health information. Method: The paper describes how widespread problems with health literacy significantly limit effective dissemination of relevant health information in society, especially to many vulnerable populations where health literacy challenges are especially pervasive. Results: The paper examines strengths and weaknesses of different programs for addressing health literacy problems, including educational programs, message design programs, and strategic communication training and intervention programs. Implications: The paper evaluates strategies that can be implemented throughout the modern health care system to address problems of health literacy by improving health information access, processing, and understanding. It concludes by examining several strategies that libraries can adopt to overcome many health literacy challenges.

Copyright information:

© 2005, Medical Library Association

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