Having the ability to make informed decisions in relation to an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health; Also applies to caregivers understanding the health information of a loved one.
Individuals with limited health literacy experience a variety of negative outcomes. They know less about their health problems, are more likely to make errors taking medicine, use more inpatient and emergency department care, receive fewer preventative services, and have worse health status and higher health care costs.
Research shows that individuals with low health literacy were significantly more likely than individuals with adequate health literacy to delay or forego needed care or to report difficulty finding a provider.
Patients with inadequate health literacy are diagnosed with cancer at a later stage.
Proprietary ranking methods and the use of sponsored results of popular search engines can lead to misleading information on health topics such as nutrition and exercise.