Health literacy, does it make a difference?

Anne Johnson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective To provide contextual information about health literacy and its importance to health care, nursing, and health consumers. Primary argument Health literacy is of concern to all health workers, including nurses, working in all areas of the Australian health care system. Low levels of health literacy is a significant problem in Australia. Population measurements of functional health literacy levels (ABS 2008) indicate that 59 per cent of the Australian population aged 15 to 74 years did not achieve an adequate health literacy skill level to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge-based economy. Nurses play a vital role in the care and education of health consumers. As such an understanding of health literacy and how it impacts on health care and health outcomes is central to providing patient-centred care, and improving health outcomes. Conclusion An understanding by nurses of health literacy is central to enhancing the involvement of health consumers in their care, and improving health outcomes and the provision of safe health care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-45
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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