Health Literacy and Multicultural Populations Health literacy is recognized as one of the major factors related to positive health outcomes and involves understanding, accessing, and using health information to make necessary health decisions. However, many members of multicultural populations demonstrate limited health literacy due to language barriers, health-care providers’ limited knowledge of cultural variations, health-care ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2011
Health Literacy and Multicultural Populations
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mercedes Benitez McCrary
    USPHS, Commissioned Corp, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD
  • Eva Jackson Hester
    Towson University, Towson, MD
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity
Article   |   October 01, 2011
Health Literacy and Multicultural Populations
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, October 2011, Vol. 18, 79-87. doi:10.1044/cds18.3.79
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, October 2011, Vol. 18, 79-87. doi:10.1044/cds18.3.79

Health literacy is recognized as one of the major factors related to positive health outcomes and involves understanding, accessing, and using health information to make necessary health decisions. However, many members of multicultural populations demonstrate limited health literacy due to language barriers, health-care providers’ limited knowledge of cultural variations, health-care communication restrictions, and low literacy levels as related to educational attainment. These problems become more complex for people with speech, language, and hearing problems and result in higher risk for inadequate health literacy. In this article, we review the status of health literacy and health-care communication of multicultural populations and offer suggestions for speech-language pathologists and audiologists to improve health literacy.

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