A Research Report
Health and Literacy are linked. We have learned that people with reading problems have more health problems. We need to learn how to make it easier for people who don't read well to be healthy.
This research report was done for an international conference. The conference was about how to improve the health of people who are most at risk for health problems. The people who planned the conference wanted to know about health and literacy research in Canada.
This is the report of a 36-week project designed to examine the nature of the relationship between literacy levels and the ability to engage in health promotion strategies. For the project, two learners at Level 1 and two learners at Level 2 were matched individually with tutors. Each pair then chose a health issue to research and a method to share their experience with Learners, learning networks, and others in their communities. The project was designed to help Learners gain a better understanding of their own health, which over time may lead to an increase in their abilities to assume greater control over their health. It also provided an opportunity for literacy staff and other project partners to enhance their health promotion capacity.
This article reviews current literature and research on literacy and health and identifies priorities for research on this topic in Canada. The review found that low literacy has direct and indirect impacts on health. Families are at risk due to difficulty reading medication prescriptions, baby formula instructions and health and safety education materials. People with lower levels of literacy tend to live and work in less healthy environments. They have more difficulties obtaining employment and income security. Action is needed to improve literacy and health through a combination of health communication, education and training, community development, organizational development, and policy development.
Setting Priorities in Canada
The National Literacy and Health Research workshop, held October 27-28, 2000 in Ottawa, provided 32 leaders in research, policy and practice with an opportunity to share information about current and past work and research in literacy and health and then to identify priorities for future research in this area in Canada.
A Final Report to Population Health
This report discusses a project intended to help health care providers and administrators overcome barriers to reaching low literacy clients, and conversely, to make it easier for low literacy people to benefit from health services.
Objectives of the project include: to demonstrate the link between low literacy and poor health; to teach health providers to recognize signs of low literacy in their clients; to teach literacy and health workers how to use plain language and clear design in their documents; to teach health providers sound teaching principles for oral communication; to encourage partnerships between literacy and health workers, and; to encourage literacy teachers to incorporate health topics into their curriculum.
Series: Literacy is for Life Fact Sheet
Authors: Movement for Canadian Literacy
The Literacy is for Life Fact Sheet series is a series of two-pager highlights on literacy and related topics.
This Fact Sheet highlights Literacy and Older Adults and how the older a person is, the less likely her or she is to have the literacy skills needed for everyday life in Canada.
Recommendations for the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance
Authors: Movement for Canadian Literacy
In this brief, the Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL) calls on the Standing Committee on Finance to recommend the resources necessary to establish a pan-Canadian literacy strategy. Canada's economic and social prosperity will be served if the federal government makes literacy a policy priority.
The State of Adult Literacy and Adult Basic Education in the NWT - A Summary of Research
Authors: Lutra Associates Ltd.
The NWT Literacy Council wanted to find out about adult literacy and adult basic education in the NWT. In order to do the research they asked a few questions. Here's an example of a few questions :
What is literacy in today's world?
How do NWT adults get help to improve their literacy?
What can we do to influence the future of adult literacy and adult basic education in the NWT?
In other sections of the report, the researchers looked at who is responsible for adult literacy and adult basic education in the Northwest Territories, for example. As well, they gave recommendations such as: Develop and implement a policy for literacy and adult basic education.
For this research, the use of other reports and interviews was very helpful. For more information : NWT Literacy Council, http://www.nwt.literacy.ca/.
Adapting Health Communication for Hard-to-Reach Patients
Series: Health Literacy Project
This report describes how Phase 2 of the Literacy Health Project focused on finding ways to meet some of the identified needs based on the needs assessment of Phase 1.
The objectives of this study were to identify:
-gaps in knowledge in literacy and health research in Canada;
-current and proposed initiatives in literacy and health in Canada;
-resources and opportunities for research in literacy and health in Canada.
In general, it was found that Canada has an abundance of literacy and health projects, but relatively little research. Projects included plain writing services and initiatives, translation and interpretation of health information, awareness-raising publications, staff sensitivity training programs, new literacy curricula, and resource collections.