Health literacy and health information producers: report of the findings of a UK-wide survey of information producers and providers

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Health literacy is broadly about an individual’s ability to make sound health decisions in the context of everyday life and as such, it is an important aspect of their capacity to manage their health and care.  This survey explored whether information producers know what health literacy means and how important they think it is; what specific strategies they have to address the needs of people with low health literacy and how these strategies are implemented.

The report finds that most rate the issue of health literacy as extremely or very important when planning, developing or writing information resources or services. However, fewer than half provide services or resources that address the needs of people with low health literacy and only10% have a specific policy or strategy.

The main barriers faced when producing information for people with low health literacy include limited funds and resources, limited understanding of needs and limited understanding of how to develop appropriate resources or services.

The findings show that although information producers in the UK have a good understanding of health literacy and its importance, they lack the tools and skills with which to develop appropriate resources and services that meet the needs of people with low health literacy. There is a clear appetite for practical guidance and case studies.

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