Health Literacy: It's Time to Take It Seriously!

1.0 Continuing Education Credit Hours


This module is an introductory overview of health literacy. Included in the discussion is what we mean by low health literacy, the results of the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), populations at risk for low health literacy, the impact of health literacy, reading levels of health materials, and the consequences of the mismatch between the reading ability of most Americans and the difficulty of health-related materials. An overview of key elements in effective communication is presented.


  1. Define the general literacy and health literacy problem in the U.S.
  2. Describe the 2003 NAAL survey and the PIAAC results and the implications for providers.
  3. Compare and contrast populations at risk for low health literacy.
  4. Describe the impact of inadequate health literacy on health-related knowledge, health promoting behaviors, health outcomes and status, healthcare resources utilization, and healthcare costs.
  5. Identify the barriers and factors or reasons that contribute to the problem of low health literacy in the U.S.
  6. Explain how patients, clinicians, and the healthcare system overlook low health literacy.
  7. Describe the mismatch between the literacy levels of adult Americans and levels of most health materials and the consequences of this mismatch with possible solutions to the problem.

Online Module

When completing the on-line module you will be presented with learning objectives, brief cases, questions for reflection (not scored), and interactive lessons with hyperlinks to engage you along the way. Once you complete the lessons, you will be presented with the Module Evaluation and then the Post Test (which requires a score of 70%), followed by the opportunity to print your Continuing Education Certificate. Modules remain available for your future reference once you have completed them.