Do you know your Health Literacy?
Have you heard about health literacy? It is not the same as your literacy skill of reading this English language blog. Instead it involves your ability to both understand and use health information to make decisions about you and your family’s health. And this skill is not necessarily related to either age or education. For example, a child or teenager with a long-term health condition may be extremely health literate for themselves from their years of living with it, talking with doctors, and doing their own research. On the other hand, an adult with a college education who has not experienced any major health issues may not have as high an understanding of health terminology and services. Plus, when someone is feeling ill that can affect their level of health literacy.
Interested in testing your health literacy, try:
Currently, Health literacy is actually divided into two types: Personal Health Literacy and Organizational Health Literacy. Healthy People 2030 provides these definitions:
- Personal health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.
- Organizational health literacy is the degree to which organizations equitably enable individuals to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.
Your library provides many health resources written for both a layperson through a medical professional. For some easy-to-use and easy to read health resources, we recommend:
We have also created a webpage to help you learn how to locate and evaluate health information – whether read in books or magazines, found on the internet, or heard on television or radio. It is also available for printing in both English and Spanish.
For more on Health Literacy, see: