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Health Literacy and Culture

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) adds information about culture to its Health Literacy resource.
The NN/LM has added content to its Health Literacy resource to include information about culture in the context of health literacy. As part of a project of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellowship Program, Diana Almader-Douglas evaluated the existing health literacy Web-based resource at the NN/LM and determined that the resource would benefit from addressing the importance of culture in understanding health literacy.
Culture is one component of health literacy, but it is also a critical element of the complex topic of health literacy. Culture shapes communication, beliefs, and the comprehension of health information. By enhancing the NN/LM Health Literacy Web page with content about health literacy in a cultural context, users of the page, and end users will be able to better meet the health information needs of vulnerable and diverse population groups they are serving.

By adding content related to culture and how culture impacts health, the resource raises increased awareness about vulnerable and special populations, and highlights the connection to health disparities and health literacy.
For more information on culture and health literacy, visit:

Benjamin RM. Improving Health by Improving Health Literacy. Public Health Rep. 2010, Nov-Dec; 125(6):784-785. Available from: http://1.usa.gov/18kCQKS

United States Department of Health & Human Services. Health Resources and Services Administration (HSRA). Culture, Language and Health Literacy. Available from: http://1.usa.gov/12qSZdu

United States Department of Health & Human Services. National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Outreach Activities; Resources. Multi-cultural Resources for Health Information. Available from: http://1.usa.gov/12rnYG9

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