Health Sciences 2000A/B Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Genetic Discrimination, Medical Model, De-Identification

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Health Education and Literacy
The Health Literacy Problem
Literacy
Ability to understand and use reading, writing, speaking and other forms of communication as ways to participate in
society and achieve one’s goals and potential
“Ability to access, understand, evaluate and communicate information as a way to promote, maintain and improve
health in a variety of settings across the life-course”
More than the availability of information and service
Mediated by:
Education
Culture
Language
Communication skills of professionals
Nature of materials/messages
Settings in which health-related supports are provided
Health Literacy Linked to Health
People who are educated have high literacy and also have a higher level of health
If we can work on one part of this triangle of support, other areas could be increased with less cost
Background
Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) expert panel: researchers and policy-makers in the health and
education fields
Examined health-literacy skills in a variety of health contexts and against the almost daily health-related activities
that take place in homes, worksites and community systems
Health Related Tasks
191 daily tasks were judged to measure health-related activities in 5 domains:
Health Promotion
Health Protection
Disease Prevention
Health-care and disease management
Navigation
Health Activities Focus Examples of Materials Examples of Tasks
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Health Promotion Enhance and maintain
health
-Articles in
newspapers and
magazines,
booklets, brochures
-Food and
product labels
-Purchase food
-Plan exercise
regimen
Disease Prevention Take preventive
measures and engage
in early detection
-News alerts:
TV, radio,
newspapers
-Letters related
to test result
-Determine risk
-Engage in
screening or
diagnostic tests
-Follow up
Health Care and
Maintenance
Seek care and form a
partnership with
health-care providers
Education booklets and
brochures, health
information on the
internet
- Collect information on
merits of various
treatment regimens for
discussion with health
professionals
Background
Tested more than 23000 Canadians
Consider Level 3 minimum requirement
Any score below: individual possesses very limited to restricted literacy proficiencies
Key Findings: Overall Average Level of Health Literacy
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Key Findings: Inequality of Health Literacy
Large differences in average literacy exist between different population sub-groups within Canada – especially
among the elderly
“Due to our aging population and growing pressures on our health-care system, there is an urgent need to address
the level of health literacy across our country,” – Dr. Cappon
Key Findings: Linkage of Health Literacy and Health Status
Significant improvements in overall levels of population health might be realized if a way could be found to raise
adult health-literacy levels
Provided that health literacy generates health, policies aimed at increasing levels of health literacy might turn out to
be low-cost alternatives to existing practice
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