Are you interested in numeracy, or how people understand and use quantitative information? Want to learn more about how numeracy relates to health literacy, or how people use information like nutrition labels, medical devices, or probability and risk to make decisions about their health?
The Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy is hosting a workshop on numeracy issues in health literacy in Washington, DC, on July 18, 2013 at 8:30 AM. Click here for more information and to register for the free workshop. The event will also be webcast live on July 18.
According to HHS, numeracy skills relate to health literacy when people do things like:
- Calculate cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Measure medications
- Compare premiums, co-pays, and deductibles when choosing health insurance plans [source]
To learn more, check out this list of recent articles on health literacy and numeracy available from PubMed
Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS are teaming with health departments and local AIDS organizations to provide FREE HIV testing in support of National HIV Testing Day (Thursday, June 27th).
Free HIV tests will be available June 27-28 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and June 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at select Walgreens locations in major metropolitan areas including Baltimore and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.greaterthan.org/walgreens.
Walgreens Greater Than AIDS from Greater Than on Vimeo.
Our research roundup highlights health literacy articles as they are newly indexed in Google Scholar. Links to abstracts are provided below. Tweet us @HealthLiteracy1 to suggest a health literacy article for the next roundup!
This week: a literature review was conducted to explore the relationship between health literacy and preventive cancer screening behavior in a high-risk group; online ‘crowdsourcing’ was evaluated as a method for evaluating pictogram comprehension; and researchers conducted a study to adjust for social desirability bias in evaluating the association between health literacy and reported health behaviors.
- What is known about the association between preventive cervical cancer screening and health literacy among older Hispanic women? Flores, B. E., & Acton, G. J. Older Hispanic women, health literacy, and cervical cancer screening, in Clinical Nursing Research.
- Can ‘crowdsourcing’ efforts help evaluate materials intended for audiences with limited literacy skills? Yu, B., et al. Crowdsourcing participatory evaluation of medical pictograms using Amazon Mechanical Turk, in The Journal of Medical Internet Research.
- How does social desirability bias influence the association between oral health literacy and reported behaviors? Sanzone, L. A., et al. A cross sectional study examining social desirability bias in caregiver reporting of children’s oral health behaviors [PDF], in BMC Oral Health.
Last week, the Health Literacy Maryland Coalition wrote letters to Maryland senators and house representatives offering support for the recent bill: the Plain Regulations Act.
This bill would require that all new and substantially revised federal regulations be written in plain language. More information about the bill can be found here. Click Letter to Mikulski.Plain Regulations Act Letter to see what Health Literacy Maryland wrote to our officials.
Health Literacy Maryland believes that regulations should be easy to understand in order to avoid confusions in our policies and rules. If we understand what is gong on, especially in regulations under health insurance, we trust our government more, we feel satisfied, and we, most importantly, understand important policies that affect us. No more jargon-filled regulations! That is one of the core concepts of health literacy: clear communication.
We thank the Center for Plain Language for their ongoing support and strong push for the Plain Regulations Act of 2013.
See below for more information on the Plain Regulations Act of 2013:
H.R. 1557 – Plain Regulations Act of 2013 referred to Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
S. 807 – Plain Regulations Act of 2013 referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Dr. Alice Horowitz, staff of the Center for Health Literacy, recently conducted a study to assess the oral health literacy of Medicaid recipients in Maryland. Dr. Horowitz and colleagues, Dr. Min Qi Wang and Dr. Dushanka Kleinman found that knowledge of preventing dental caries (cavities) was low. For example, only 57.8% of adults surveyed knew the purpose of fluoride. The study also explored behaviors related to dental caries prevention and treatment, such as drinking fluoridated tap water. Adults with higher education levels were more likely to drink fluoridated tap water. The findings were published in a recent article, What Maryland Adults With Young Children Know and Do About Preventing Dental Caries, in the American Journal of Public Health.
Read more: Maryland Study Finds Low Oral Health Literacy among Medicaid Recipients with Young Children
October is just around the corner! Patient navigators, community organizers, media, educators, the Obama Administration, health insurance companies, small and big businesses, individuals…they are all gearing up for implementation of the health insurance exchange.
But through all this bustle and hustle, let’s stop and think – Would your consumers be able to understand, have access to, and effectively understand and register for health insurance? Many consumers, according to the Kaiser Foundation, do not, which is why we are thrilled to see more and more reports and papers striving for consumer understanding. For example, the Institute of Medicine recently came out with Helping Consumers Understand Health Insurance. Its goal is to help organizations help consumers better understand the new health insurance process. It is very health literate focused as it was created by the IOM Roundtable for Health Literacy and respective health literacy collaboratives. By the end of the paper, your consumer should be able to answer the following questions:
What are my choices for health insurance?
How do I get it?
How do I use it?
How much will it cost me?
The paper is broken into very specific categories, with detailed graphs, and summaries of each section to make sure you understand the key concepts as well. For example, the paper explains clearly:
- What is health insurance?
- How do we pay for health insurance?
- What if consumers do not want to pay for health insurance?
- How is Medicare affected? Medicaid? CHIP? (Children’s health Insurance Program?) How do you enroll in these programs?
- What are the health exchanges?
- What about private insurance?
And much more.
We want to hear from you! Take a quick peek at the paper. Would you be able to use their strategies in your organization? Let us know via Twitter @HealthLiteracy1 or post a comment below.