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What is health literacy? Why is it important? How does it affect our work and how should we change how we work to enable people to better understand the information that we give them, in whatever format?

This two hour session aims to answer these questions and also to try and put us in the position of patients and carers who do not understand the information that they are given.

Course objectives

During this course we will talk about health literacy, find out how it is defined, ask why it is important and discuss who is more likely to have lower levels of health literacy. We will also talk about health inequalities and illustrate this by mapping life expectancy along a local bus route.

We will try and put ourselves in the position of someone who doesn't understand what they are being told about their health and see how people in that position feel.

We will also look at some of the problems we create for our own patients in the signs and leaflets that we use, and then we will discuss what can be done to help our patients with the written and verbal information that we provide.


Teaching materials
A handout will be given to you during the session, as will sheets needed for exercises. You do not need to bring anything with you expect a pen.

Why is health literacy important?
Let this infographic from the Patient Information Forum explain.

This course has been shown by past attendees to increase their understanding of health literacy and its importance by over 50%. See more detail on the impact it makes by looking at #uhllibHLA on Twitter.

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