Health literacy is the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information required to make appropriate health decisions and follow treatment instructions.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has just released a new tool to help professionals choose more understandable and actionable materials – the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT).
AHRQ’s PEMAT and User’s Guide provides a systematic method to evaluate and compare the understandability and actionability of patient education materials. By selecting health materials that score better on the PEMAT, you can be more confident that people of varying levels of health literacy will be able to process and explain key messages, and identify what they can do based on the information presented.
A key ingredient in reducing or eliminating disparities in access to and quality of health care, cultural competence involves appreciation of, respect for, and responsiveness in the diverse needs of patients from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds.
The Medical Library Association maintains a list of top health websites. The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association finds these top ten general health sites especially useful.
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