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Course Description

Understanding the relationship between health and literacy is essential to the development of effective health communication. National assessments of adult literacy have raised serious concerns about the ability of nearly half the adult population in the U.S. to access and use health information and services (NALS 1992, NAAL 2003, PIAAC 2012). Low health literacy is a barrier to effective health communication, affects health care quality and contributes to health disparities. To address these issues the Institute of Medicine calls for increasing "knowledge, awareness, and responsiveness to health literacy among health service providers" (IOM 2005). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that health service providers be trained in health literacy, plain language, and culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) and use those skills to create patienti-centered best practices (DHHS, 2010).To raise awareness among health professionals regarding health literacy as a public health priority, the Health Communication Program at the Tufts University School of Medicine offers a skills oriented seminar in health literacy. This course explores the link between literacy, language and culture and how systems barriers impact access to health information and quality health care services. Students practice writing and speaking in plain language, and consider how to apply health literacy research to practice. The course provides an overview of the health literacy interventions being tried in a variety of sectors and explores opportunities for collaboration across fields.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: Unofficial Transcript - Bachelor's.

Refund Policy: The refund policy for Courses at Tufts offerings is dependent on the type and the instruction mode of the offering: whether the course is in-person, virtual synchronous, virtual asynchronous, or a workshop or short course. Please refer to the section details to confirm the instruction mode and type of offering as well as any exceptions to the standard refund policy. The refund policies for each offering type and instruction mode are viewable here: https://universitycollege.tufts.edu/policies/refunds#Courses-at-Tufts-(Academic-Year--Summer-Session)

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Affiliated With:

  • School of Medicine - Public Health & Professional Degrees