From Coverage to Care: A Roadmap to Better Care for Adults with Low Health Literacy

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Fall 10-26-2017


Health literacy refers to how patients or caregivers receive, understand, and use health information, and how health care providers, including medical professionals, health educators and others, provide information. Therefore, health literacy can be a significant determinant of health outcomes.

Last year, the Center for Law Health & Society hosted a presentation on health literacy. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response of attendees, Iris Feinberg (Ph.D. ’15), assistant director of the Adult Literacy Research Center at Georgia State University College of Education and Human Development, returned to present “From Coverage to Care – A Roadmap to Better Care for Adults with Low Health Literacy,” a training for law and graduate students to recognize signs and address low literacy of future clients or patients.

“If you don’t understand what your doctor is telling you, you can’t make an informed decision about your health care,” Feinberg said. Adults with low health literacy are less likely to understand information from their health care providers, adhere to medication instructions, seek preventive care, or even keep scheduled appointments. Further, adults with low health literacy are more likely have poor health status, unnecessary emergency department use, and face higher mortality rates.