Health literacy is the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.
- Healthy People 2010
Plain language is a strategy for making written and oral information easier to understand. It is one important tool for improving health literacy. Key elements of Plain Language include:
Clear & Simple
For several years, a publication of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers,” served as a trans-NIH document dedicated to the subject of health literacy.
Clear & Simple outlines a process for developing publications for people with limited-literacy skills and features proven principles and a discussion of real life issues that individuals developing low-literacy materials face.
Cultural Respect is a strategy that enables organizations to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Developing and implementing a framework of cultural competence in health systems is an extended process that ultimately serves to reduce health disparities and improve access to high-quality health care.