Health literacy

Communication and Health Literacy

Health literacy

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26TEN: Tasmanian site to help people with reading, writing and numbers

This video beautifully illustrates what we are on about.

Most people in Tasmania are not health literate.

Health literacy is the knowledge and skills needed to find, understand and use information about physical, mental and social wellbeing.

In 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found 59 per cent of Australian adults aged 15–74 years did not have adequate health literacy to meet the complex demands of everyday life.

In Tasmania, this figure rises to around 63 per cent of adults.

Poor health literacy has a significant impact on the safety, quality, efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness of healthcare. It also has a significant impact on health outcomes, consumer rights, consumer participation in managing their health and healthcare and access to health services.

To minimise the impact of poor health literacy we need:

  • healthcare workers to be aware poor health literacy is a mainstream issue and this has a big impact on health and healthcare
  • to equip healthcare workers with knowledge, skills and resources to make it easier for people to access, understand and use information about their health and healthcare
  • healthcare workers to support efforts to improve health literacy.

This page provides access to information and resources that will help healthcare providers communicate effectively and improve the health literacy environment of their services.

Improving health literacy will help Tasmanians be more involved in their health and healthcare, improve the safety and quality of healthcare and result in better health outcomes.

April 2016

CONTACT US For more information about health literacy in health and human services email