Health literacy refers to the set of skills people need to find, understand and use information to maintain good health. People with low health literacy—roughly half of all adults in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand—have more hospitalizations, poorer overall health and higher mortality rates compared with people with adequate health literacy. Unfortunately, much of the available health information is highly technical, jargon filled and inappropriate for those with low health literacy.
Applying plain language principles to simplify technical medical language and clarify health-related documents can make health information more accessible to all users. This course will not only help you use plain language to create effective health communications for your intended audience but will also highlight important cultural and ethical issues to consider as you develop your message.