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Advancing Research in Health Literacy

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Grant Number: R13-MD003392

RFA/PA: PA08-149  

Project Title:  Advancing Research in Health Literacy


The Department of Health and Human Services has defined health literacy 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. Unfortunately, fully 22 percent of U.S. adults have only basic health literacy and an additional 14 percent have below basic health literacy. The relationship between limited literacy and adverse health outcomes has been well documented, and seminal reports about the problem of health literacy have been issued by the Institute of Medicine, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Medical Association, and Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospital Organizations, among others. Each of these reports advocates further research to develop an effective response within health care systems to address the problem and research in health literacy has begun to flourish. An important next step to cultivate this emerging research field is to create a national professional interdisciplinary home for investigators dedicated to health literacy research. Currently no such venue exists.

We will hold the first in a series of annual conferences dedicated to the promotion of the field of health literacy research. The Institute of Medicine Health Literacy Round Table will provide meeting space and support dissemination via their Web site and by publishing proceedings of the meetings with the National Academies Press. This annual meeting will be designed to provide a venue to focus attention on health literacy research, emphasizing two important subthemes each year (Y1: health disparities and information technology applications for patients with chronic diseases; Y2: cancer and the elderly; Y3: patient safety and child health).

The meeting will serve as an incubator for young investigators and will encourage a cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge and collaboration. We aim to create an environment in which controversial topics within the research community can be openly discussed.

Fiscal Year: 2009
Project Start: 04/01/2009
Project End: 03/31/2010
IRG: ZMD1 LW (12)

Page last reviewed March 2010
Internet Citation: Advancing Research in Health Literacy. March 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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