Health Literacy

Library of the Health Sciences



The Health Literacy How-To Guide is focused on being a great source of information for health professionals who want to improve communication with patients and others and/or teach themselves or other health professionals about health literacy and clear communication.

The guide is a work-in-progress.  Please help us to improve the site by suggesting material to add.  There is a "Suggest A Resource or Website" box on every page. 

References on this Web site to any specific commercial products does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. 


"The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions".
-Healthy People 2010

"Health literacy is a shared responsibility between patients (or anyone on the receiving end of health communication) and providers (or anyone on the giving end of health communication. Each must communicate in ways the other can understand."
-Helen Osborne of Health Literacy Consulting and Health Literacy Month.


  • Health literacy allows the public and personnel working in all health-related contexts to find, understand, evaluate, communicate, and use information.
  • Health literacy is the use of a wide range of skills that improve the ability of people to act on information in order to live healthier lives. 
  • These skills include reading, writing, listening, speaking, numeracy, and critical analysis, as well as communication and interaction skills.

-Calgary Charter

Subject Guide

Annie Nickum's picture
Annie Nickum
Subjects:Health, Social Work