According to the 1993 US National Adult Literacy Survey, approximately 90 million people in the USA have deficiencies in reading or computational skills that prevent them from fully participating in normal daily activities – such as reading a bus schedule or entering background information on an application form. Although the Survey did not evaluate the ability to read and comprehend health-related materials,
results from this survey raised concern about whether people’s reading abilities were adequate to function in a healthcare environment. In this article – which makes particular reference to the status of care in the USA – Lisa Chew reports
on the impact of poor health literacy on diabetes care, and makes suggestions for improving communication between health providers and people with diabetes.
US National Adult Literacy Survey, health literacy, literacy, REALM, STOFHLA