Health Literacy : A Problem With Our Patients

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Nurse Role in Promotion of Health Literacy Using Theories Health literacy has been a problem with our patients. The most vulnerable populations are the elderly, people with low-income levels, those with limited education, non-native speakers of English, those with chronic mental and physical health conditions, minority, and immigrant populations. Nurses have a great role in helping our patients succeed in understanding their health conditions. Nurses can be of great help in promoting health literacy. Sykes, Wills, Rowlands and Popple (2013) defined health literacy as the ability of individuals to access, understand, appraise, and apply health information. The three domains of health literacy, according to Bennett and Perkins (2012) as adapted from the (WHO) (1998) are functional health literacy, interactive literacy, and critical health literacy. Functional health literacy is basic reading and writing skills to be able to function effectively in a health context. Interactive health literacy is the used of more advanced cognitive and literacy skills to participate in health care. Critical health literacy is the ability to analyze critically and to use information to participate in action, to overcome structural barriers to health (p.14). The U.S. Department of Education published the findings of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy conducted in 2003. The result showed that 36 % of adults have basic or below-basic skills for dealing with health material, 52 %
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