Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action
Zarcadoolas, C., Pleasant, A. & Greer, D. (2006). Advancing health literacy: A framework for understanding and action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Advancing Health Literacy addresses the crisis in health literacy in the United States and around the world. This book thoroughly examines the critical role of literacy in public health and outlines a practical, effective model that bridges the gap between health education, health promotion, and health communication.
Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message
Osborne, H. (2004). Health literacy from A to Z: Practical ways to communicate your health message. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
This handbook is designed for the busy health professional, and is filled with ideas and strategies for effective health communication presented in a simple, informal manner.
Helping Patients Understand Risks: 7 Simple Strategies for Successful Communication
Paling, J. (2006). Helping patients understand risks: 7 simple strategies for successful communication (2nd ed.). Gainesville, FL: The Risk Communications Institute.
Targeted toward physicians, but helpful to anyone who does patient education, this book gets the points across with humor and simplicity.
Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills
Doak, L., Doak, C., & Root, J. (1996). Teaching patients with low literacy skills (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott.
This book is considered a classic manual in health literacy, and provides techniques and rationale for clear health communication for anyone involved in patient care or health education. It is available free on Harvard University School of Public Health's Health Literacy Studies website.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Fadiman, A. (2002). The spirit catches you and you fall down. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
This novel about a Hmong family's experience with the U.S. health care system is a literary "poster child" for health literacy and cultural competency concerns.
Understanding Health Literacy: Implications for Medicine and Public Health
Schwartzberg, J. G., VanGeest, J. B., & Wang, C. C. (2004). Understanding health literacy: Implications for medicine and public health. Chicago: American Medical Association.
This book provides an overview of health literacy in health care, patient-physician communications, and issues involving health care delivery.