A Prescription Is Not Enough

Improving Public Health with Health Literacy

Published in: A Prescription Is Not Enough: Improving Public Health with Health Literacy / Andrew Pleasant et al. (Washington, D.C.: Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy, Nov. 2013), 43 p

by Andrew Pleasant, Jennifer Cabe, Laurie T. Martin, Robert V. Rikard

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.iom.edu

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This article focuses on the use—and the lack of use—of health literacy within efforts to address public health in the United States. While a growing body of evidence strongly suggests that health literacy can be effective in public health when explicitly addressed, the concept and associated best practices of health literacy do not seem to be consistently or universally used within public health organizations. As a result, the effectiveness of state, local, tribal, and territorial public health efforts is reduced and public health suffers. Successfully integrating the best practices and knowledge of health literacy into public health practice is likely the most significant opportunity that currently exists to improve individual, community, and public health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.