Literacy and Learning in Health Care

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Literacy and Learning in Health Care

Citable link to this page


Title: Literacy and Learning in Health Care
Author: Wolf, Michael S.; Wilson, Elizabeth A.H.; Rapp, David N.; Waite, Katherine R.; Bocchini, Mary V.; Davis, Terry C.; Rudd, Rima E.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Wolf, Michael S., Elizabeth A.H. Wilson, David N. Rapp, Katherine R. Waite, Mary V. Bocchini, Terry C. Davis, and Rima E. Rudd. 2009. “Literacy and Learning in Health Care.” Pediatrics 124 (Supplement 3) (October 27): S275–S281. doi:10.1542/peds.2009-1162c.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: The relationship between literacy and health outcomes are well documented in adult medicine, yet specific causal pathways are not entirely clear. Despite an incomplete understanding of the problem, numerous interventions have already been implemented with variable success. Many of the earlier strategies assumed the problem to originate from reading difficulties only. Given the timely need for more effective interventions, it is of increasing importance to reconsider the meaning of health literacy in order to advance our conceptual understanding of the problem and how best to respond. One potentially effective approach might involve recognizing the known associations between a larger set of cognitive and psychosocial abilities with functional literacy skills. We review the current health literacy definition and literature and draw upon relevant research from the fields of education, cognitive science, and psychology. In this framework, a research agenda is proposed that considers an individual's health learning capacity, referring to the broad constellation of cognitive and psychosocial skills patients or family members must draw upon to effectively promote, protect, and manage their own or a child's health. This new, related concept will ideally lead to more effective ways of thinking about health literacy interventions, including the design of health education materials, instructional strategies, and the delivery of healthcare services to support patients and families across the lifespan.
Published Version: doi:10.1542/peds.2009-1162C
Other Sources:
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
Citable link to this page:
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


Search DASH

Advanced Search