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Orthopaedic Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NOR.0000345852.22122.d6
Patient Education Corner

Understanding the Health Literacy of America: Results of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy

Cutilli, Carolyn Crane; Bennett, Ian M.

Continued Education
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Abstract

Health literacy refers to an individual's ability to understand healthcare information to make appropriate decisions (Ratzen & Parker, 2000). Healthcare professionals are obligated to make sure that patients understand information to maximize the benefits of healthcare. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) provides information on the literacy/health literacy levels of the U.S. adult population. The NAAL is the only large-scale survey of health literacy. The results of the NAAL provide information on literacy/health literacy and the relationship between background variables and literacy/health literacy. Multiple variables with potential for a relationship with literacy/health literacy were chosen for the NAAL including, but not limited to, education, language, race, gender, income, overall health, seeking health information, and health insurance.

© 2009 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses

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