The Impact of Low Literacy on Health

Danny Guo


Forty eight percent of Canadians have been reported to have literacy below the minimum level required for full societal function, which directly impacts multiple aspects of their lives including mitigating healthcare accessibility, utilization, and health status. While effective communication can temporarily overcome the literacy barrier,6 a more comprehensive approach involving understanding and identifying those who struggle with literacy is necessary for long term improvement and efficient prevention of miscommunication. As there is currently no gold standard for these situations, this article makes several recommendations on how primary care providers and community members alike can enhance the care of people with low literacy.

KEYWORDS: low literacy; healthcare professional

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Guo D. The Impact of Low Literacy on Health. UBCMJ. 2012 3(2):39-41.