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Pharmacy research can help raise health literacy standards, say experts
Date:9/25/2013

Philadelphia, PA, September 25, 2013 Limited health literacy can lead to difficulties in patients' self-care activities such as taking prescribed medications. Since a considerable amount of health information changes hands in the pharmacy setting, research by pharmacists into evaluating which tools are effective in practice can make a valuable contribution to goals set by the 2010 US National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and lead to improvements in communications and health care, say experts in this special themed issue on "Pharmacy, Medication Use, and the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy," published in the journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy.

Health literacy is defined by the Institute of Medicine as "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions."

As reported by the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, approximately 36% of adult Americans exhibit health literacy skills that are at the basic level or below. This affects people's ability to search for and use health information, adopt healthy behaviors, and act on important public health alerts. Limited health literacy affects people of all ages, races, incomes, and education levels; but the impact of limited health literacy disproportionately affects lower socioeconomic and minority groups, which includes racial and ethnic minorities as well as seniors. Limited health literacy is also associated with poorer health outcomes and higher costs.

With these concerns in mind, and guided by Michael J. Miller, RPh, DrPH, FAPhA, of the College of Pharmacy, The University of Oklahoma, Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy solicited and compiled a collection of papers from top authorities from around the world, affiliated with prominent institutions such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prev
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Contact: Chris Baumle
c.baumle@elsevier.com
215-239-3731
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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