Current and Pertinent Issues
The Zika Virus
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) in response to an increase in requests for information on the Zika Virus has put together resources that you can share with members of your community.
Health Literacy is defined in the Institute of Medicine report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”
This site provides information and tools to improve health literacy and public health. These resources are for all organizations that interact and communicate with people about health.
This National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked, multi-sector effort to improve health literacy. The plan is based on the principles that (1) everyone has the right to health information that helps them make informed decisions and (2) health services should be delivered in ways that are understandable and beneficial to health, longevity, and quality of life.
Part of the “Clear Communication” program of the National Institutes of Health, “Making Health Communication Programs Work,” [The “Pink Book”] comprehensively addresses clear communication and reflects the best practices of all NIH Institutes and Centers as a shared resource. This book describes a practical approach for planning and implementing health communication efforts; it offers guidelines, not hard and fast rules.
Medical concepts and language are very complex. People need easily understandable health information regardless of age, background or reading level. Here are guidelines to help you create easy-to-read health materials.
- Deliver online health information that is actionable and engaging.
- Create a health Web site that’s easy to use, particularly for people with limited literacy skills and limited experience using the Web.
- Evaluate and improve your health Web site with user-centered design.
CDC’s Gateway to Communication and Social Marketing Practice provides resources to help build your health communication or social marketing campaigns and programs. Whether you are looking for tips for analyzing and segmenting an audience, choosing appropriate channels and tools, or evaluating the success of your messages or campaigns, it’s all here in one place!
Podcasts, Blogs, and Newsletters
Health Literacy Out Loud (HLOL) podcasts are a lot like radio shows. You can listen in as Helen Osborne interviews those in-the-know about health literacy. You will hear why health literacy matters and learn practical ways to help.
In this podcast, Dr. Lynda Anderson, Director of CDC’s Healthy Aging Program, discusses the importance of improving health literacy among older adults.
“What’s New” is a free monthly e-newsletter from Health Literacy Consulting. Includes highlights of how-to tips, podcasts, and other health literacy resources.
This authoritative MLA guide will help you understand the vital role that medical, hospital, public, and health libraries are uniquely qualified to play in improving health literacy. You will learn innovative ways to use collection development, the reference interview, community health information, and Web resources, as well as strategies for working with special needs populations, including seniors, the disabled, ESL groups, and people of diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
Comprised of fifteen chapters written by experienced consumer health librarians, The Medical Library Association Guide to Providing Consumer and Patient Health Information is designed for library and information science graduate students as well as librarians new to health and medical librarianship, regardless of library setting. It is comprehensive in scope, covering all aspects of consumer and patient health and medical information from their humble, grassroots beginnings to the ever-evolving applications of new technology and social media.
Advancing Health Literacy addresses the crisis in health literacy in the United States and around the world. This book thoroughly examines the critical role of literacy in public health and outlines a practical, effective model that bridges the gap between health education, health promotion, and health communication.
This book describes the key principles and strategies of effective health communication presented in a simple, informal manner. The second edition is updated to reflect current health literacy research and practice with new information about timely health literacy topics.
Examines the body of knowledge that applies to the field of health literacy, and recommends actions to promote a health literate society.
Organized into four distinct sections, this book offers findings and raises questions to lead to progressive communication and investigation around the issue of health literacy in the context of the individual, the community, and patient-physician interaction.