Health Literacy: Past, Present, And Future: Workshop Summary

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In 2004, the Institute of Medicine released Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, a report on the then-underappreciated challenge of enabling patients to comprehend their condition and treatment, to make the best decisions for their care, and to take the right medications at the right time in the intended dose. That report documented the problems, origins, and consequences of the fact that tens of millions of U.S. adults are unable to read complex texts, including many health-related materials, and it proposed possible solutions to those problems.

To commemorate the anniversary of the release of the 2004 health literacy report, the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Health Literacy convened a 1-day public workshop to assess the progress made in the field of health literacy over the past decade, the current state of the field, and the future of health literacy at the local, national, and international levels. Health Literacy: Past, Present, and Future summarizes the presentation and discussion of the workshop.


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