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Health Literacy: For Librarians

Search for Journal Articles

Search these databases for articles on health literacy.

  • PubMed
    Covers journal articles about medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and public health from 1950 to the present.
  • CINAHL with Full Text
    Covers nursing and allied health journals dissertations, conferences, and book chapters from 1982 to the present.
  • ERIC
    The *Education Resources Information Center* is a mixed bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information
  • Google Scholar
    Search for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, meeting abstracts and technical reports across subject areas. This link includes info about UNC-CH journals in search results.

Writing Easy-to-Read Materials

  • Simply Put - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    The guidance in Simply Put helps you transform complicated scientific and technical information into communication materials your audiences can relate to and understand. The guide provides practical ways to organize information and use language and visuals.
  • Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers - National Cancer Institute
    This guide outlines a process for developing publications for people with limited-literacy skills. The process was derived from communications, health education, and literacy research and practice. In addition, writers who have produced low-literacy materials contributed their expertise. Thus, the guide features both proven principles and a discussion of the real life issues that individuals developing low-literacy materials face, such as the constraints of time, budget, organizational pressures, and the Government publications process.
  • Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
    The Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective is a health literacy resource from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This 11-part Toolkit provides a detailed and comprehensive set of tools to help you make written material in printed formats easier for people to read, understand, and use.
  • Plain Language Alternatives
    This list of plain language alternatives (at the 4th or 5th grade reading level) for medical and other high‐level difficult terms is intended for the use of all those communicating with people who have weak literacy skills.
  • How to Write Easy-to-Read Health Materials - MedlinePlus
    This guide provides step-by-step instructions for writing easy-to-ready materials for low literacy patients. Bulleted lists are used for simple reference from planning and research to evaluation and improvement. Included are links to readability software and other guides.
  • Health Literacy Online
    This guide from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion takes the easy-to-read concept and applies it to web design. It provides suggestions on how to communicate clearly and make sure that materials are seen.