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Health Literacy: Home

A portal to technical reports, documents, assessment tools, PowerPoint presentations, websites, videos and links to professional associations that address health literacy.

Faculty Content Advisor

Content of this LibGuide was selected largely by Dr. Laura Guyer, PhD, RD, who enthusiastically offers it to undergraduate students in the Fundamentals of Health Literacy course, students and faculty in the Interdisciplinary Family Health program and those seeking a concise resource about health literacy.

Dr. Guyer's biography and information on her research interests are available on her faculty webpage

Broken links and typographical errors should be reported to Nancy Schaefer (nancys@ufl.edu 352.273.8417), the librarian who created the LibGuide.

Definition of Health Literacy

"The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions." (Institute of Medicine report Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, 2004)

" the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions"  (Healthy People 2010)

"...the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services in order to make appropriate health decisions." (Patient and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V)

“Health literacy is a constellation of skills, including the ability to perform basic reading and numerical tasks required to function in the health care environment. Patients with adequate health literacy can read, understand, and act on health information.” (Health Literacy: Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs, JAMA, 1999)

“Health literacy defined:

  • Health literacy allows the public and personnel working in all health-related contexts to find, understand, evaluate, communicate, and use information.
  • Health literacy is the use of a wide range of skills that improve the ability of people to act on information in order to live healthier lives.
  • These skills include reading, writing, listening, speaking, numeracy, and critical analysis, as well as communication and interaction skills.” (Calgary Charter, 2011) 

Infographic on Consumer Health Literacy and Health Care

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