Lessons in Learning – March 6, 2008
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
Collection: Research Materials
If individuals are to make educated decisions about their health, they must have the literacy skills required to find and understand reliable and up-to-date health-related information, the authors of this document say. However, despite Canada’s pride in its national health care program and a relatively high standard of living, disparities in literacy skills have a significant negative impact on the health of Canadians.
Efforts to improve health literacy must include strategies directed toward health professionals, who need to understand the prevalence of inadequate health literacy and the importance of plain, clear communication in addressing health matters.
The authors also emphasize the importance of individuals taking steps to improve their own health literacy.
As well, they point to the need for adult basic education (ABE) programs to include health literacy skills and to the importance of ensuring that those programs reach the people who are most in need of them.