Health Literacy

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Health literacy refers to how people get, understand, and use health information. This refers to both an individual’s ability to use knowledge and skills and to how providers like medical professionals, health educators, and others provide health information.

Examples of our current and past research projects involving health literacy include:

Stroke Counseling for Risk Reduction (SCORRE) in Young Adult African Americans (Dawn Aycock, PhD). This study looks at refining and testing a tailored, theory-based intervention designed to increase awareness of stroke and improve lifestyle behaviors to reduce stroke risk in young adult African Americans.

Doctor-Patient Discourse in On-Line Email Diabetes Care (Scott Crossley, PhD). The purpose of this project is to develop and validate an automated system to analyze Emails between patients who have Type-2 Diabetes and their providers.  The system will be able to deliver feedback to providers on how complex their Email messages are in order to better align theses messages to their patients’ literacy levels.

Health Information Seeking Behaviors in Technology Rich Environments (Iris Feinberg, PhD, Daphne Greenberg, PhD). This research project analyzes data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) with a focus on the interrelationships between health information seeking behaviors and health status or use of preventive health measures for adults without a high school diploma. Findings indicate that individuals without a high school diploma who use the Internet for health information have substantially better health status than those who do not use the Internet.

Employee Engagement in Wellness Programs (Iris Feinberg, PhD, Daphne Greenberg, PhD, Michael Price, PhD). This project looks at the relationships between reading, numeracy, digital and health insurance literacies as they relate to the knowledge of and use of workplace wellness programs.

SafeCare Health Literacy Research (Iris Feinberg, PhD). This project analyzes the relationship between literacy levels of new mothers who are part of the SafeCare home visitation program in relation to their understanding and use of the SafeCare Health Manual and Health Booklet.

Patient Centeredness in an Urban Diabetes Clinic (Iris Feinberg, PhD). This study analyzes audiotaped interactions between patients and health providers to evaluate patient centeredness of providers and to assess if patient centeredness is related to health outcomes.

Evaluating the Availability and Scope of HIV Prevention, Treatment and Supports for Individuals with Intellectual, Developmental, and Significant Learning Disabilities (Andrew Roach, PhD). This research conducts a community-based evaluation focused on the availability and quality of HIV/AIDS prevention services for individuals with intellectual, developmental and significant learning disabilities in the Atlanta metro area. Multiple stakeholder groups will be engaged as part of this project, including individuals living with HIV or AIDS; persons with disabilities; family members; and leaders and employees from HIV/AIDS and disability service providers.