Health literacy assessment

Health literacy refers to the constellation of skills needed for an individual to function effectively in the healthcare environment and act appropriately on health information. Patients with limited health literacy may have difficulty understanding written medical information, communicating with healthcare providers and navigating the healthcare system. This translates into a series of adverse patient outcomes and increased healthcare costs.

In patients with kidney disease, limited health literacy has been associated with poorer disease understanding, worse blood pressure control, decreased adherence, increased health resource utilization and mortality. Researchers at the KHRI are investigating the relationships between health literacy and health outcomes, and designing interventions to improve both.