Health Literacy and Health Disparities - Paper Example

6 pages
1454 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
Dissertation proposal
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How did you come to select the topic? What is your interest in studying it?

In accordance with my personal observations and study, the healthy America is built depending on the quality of the information related to the health literacy they receive and their capacity to comprehend and use this information for their good and the good of the society. Besides, to close the gap which accrues in the health sector due to health literacy, equity and ethics play a role in the reduction of the health disparities and eventualities which arises among the societal population (Partnership for Clear Health Communication Steering Committee, 2003). In the study, there are various limitations which I did face. The main limitation which I faced during the study is and not limited to how to determine process in which the communication or information passed across the public sector is operational and have influence on the lives of the users (National Cancer Institute, 1995; Doka, Doka, Root, 1996). However, I tend to have a belief that the use of effective tools which aid in making the health information understandable and accessible will benefit those who have a higher risk for the low risks literacy. These comprise of the recent immigrants, poor, older adults and the ethnic minorities (Kerka 2002: Davis, Boccioni, Fredrickson, 1996).

Problem Statement

Health literacy and health disparities researchers commonly extricate the influence of health on social elements such as educational status, poverty and geographic location (Sorensen et al., 2012; Logan, In press).These researchers have also put a lot of focus on different risks of illness which arises by the unequal distribution of opportunities, wealth and the privileges in the Unites states and other nations. For instance, health equality and health literacy researcher take into consideration the relationship between the education, income and how both the influence of the dissimilarities in health services and outcomes in various countries across the world (Health at a Glance 2013 OECD Indicators; Devaux, 2015).

In spite of these harmonies in the alignment and populations who are served, there appears to be little to no gratitude from the literature that the concepts of health literacy and health related information are taken into consideration. According to the study done by Volandes and Paasche-Orlow, (2007), Paasche-Orlow and Wolf, (2010), Cooper IOM, (2011), it had been noted that the practitioners and the researchers who tend to have an advance health equity and health literacy and does not take into consideration to some of the cross purposes have no interest to seek for the prospects to collaborate. These tend to stem from the difference in research intervention sites, diverse approaches to the public advocacy and desperate funding streams. For instance, most of the research and practice have often originated within the community-based settings. Besides, some of the federal agencies and the foundations that fund health disparities research do not always emphasize the health literacy funding.

Therefore, the low health literacy in United State can be linked to the ethnicity, race, income, age and educational attainment (Kutner et al., 2006). Also, it is also linked to the health outcomes. For instance, according to Barker (2006), the health literacy predicts the desirable clinical and health administrative outcomes such as hospitalization use especially after taking control of the socio-demographic variables such as the income and education levels. Besides, it has also been found that the health literacy was an independent risks factor for all-cause mortality such when the adjustments for the factors such as race, gender, age, income, education, gender, and health education( Sudore, 2006). Comparable outcomes are palpable in a range of health settings and diseases which comprise of prevention and chronic disease (Peterson et al./, 2011; Wolf et al., 2006).

Significance of the Study

The research intends to bridge the gap which exists in the health literacy communication and the abilities of the ordinary citizens. The gap mainly exists among the citizens who have low levels of English proficiency, the health literacy, and other skills which are required to comprehend the health care information to make informed decisions. Most studies have revealed that the skills which are needed to comprehend and use the health care related communications tend to surpass the abilities of the ordinary or an average person. Even though the adverse events which are linked to the breakdown in communication which is believed to have played a role in influencing the health literacy, it has also been found that the communication breakdown process is also unacceptable (Baker, 2006). However, the negative influence of the limited or low health literacy on the use of health services can be overall considered to be significant.

APA Formatting

Cover page

Start with the cover page by:

Writing the title of the topic

Authors Name

Institution and Affiliation

The page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page

Briefly explain how you demonstrated academic writing using APA style and format in what you wrote. Be specific and use examples from your writing to illustrate your explanation.

In accordance with the APA writing style, the essay should be typed with one margin on each side and a size of (8.5" x 11"). The readable font should be used especially times new romans font 12.Incorporate the header of the page at the top of every page except the first page which should have the running head. In order to insert the page header, one is required to insert the page numbers with the right flush. The headers should be written by the use of capital letters. Remember, the header and the running head is the shortened form of the title and it should not exceed 50 characters. These characters include the punctuations and spacing. The examples of the running head can be as shown below:

Running head: HEALTH LITERACY.

The in-text citation should the authors name, the year of publication and the page numbers. For example, (Wilkonson, 2009, Pg.23).

The reference should be on a new page. They should be bold and centered, double spaced. In this case, the reference should not be underlined, no quotation marks and they should not be italicized.


Baker, D. W. 2006. The associations between health literacy and health outcomes: Self -reported health,

hospitalization, and mortality. In Proceedings of the surgeon generals workshop on improving health literacy. Rockville, MD: Office of the Surgeon General. (accessed June 19, 2015).

Davis, Bocchini, Fredrickson, et al. Parent comprehension in polio vaccine information

Pamphlets, Pediatrics, 97 (1996), pp. 804810

Health at a Glance 2013 OECD Indicators. (accessed

March 8, 2015).

IOM. 2011. Innovations in health literacy research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press

Kerka, Health and literacy, Educational Resources Information Center, Washington DC (2002) (Practice

Application brief 7, ERIC ED438450)

Kutner, M., E. Greenberg, Y. Jin, and C. Paulsen. 2006. The health literacy of Americas adults: Results

from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy. NCES 2006483. U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Logan, R. A. In press. Health literacy. In Crucial conversations: Meeting health information needs outside

of healthcare, edited by C. Arnott-Smith and A. Keselman. New York: Chandos.

National Cancer Institute Clear and simple: developing effective print materials for low-literate

Readers, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC (1995)

(publication NIH 95-3594)

Partnership for Clear Health Communication Steering Committee Eradicating low health literacy: the first

Public health movement of the 21st century overview. New York NY: Pfizer Inc., March 2003. Available at: Accessed July 15, 2004

Paasche-Orlow, M. K., and M. S. Wolf. 2010. Promoting health literacy research to reduce disparities.

Journal of Health Communication 15(Suppl 2):3441, doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.499994, PMID: 20845191.

Peterson, P. N., S. M. Shetterly, C. L. Clarke, D. B. Bekelman, P. S. Chan, L. A. Allen, D. D. Matlock, D.

J. Magid, and F. A. Masoudi. 2011. Health literacy and outcomes among patients with heart failure. Journal of the American Medical Association 305(16):1695 1701, doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.512

Sorensen, K., S. V. Broucke, J. Fullam, G. Doyle, J. Pelikan, A. Slonska, H. Brand, and HLS-EU

Consortium Health Literacy Project European. 2012. Health literacy and public health: A systematic review and integration of definitions and models. BMC Public Health 12(80), doi:10:1186/1471-2458/12/80

Sudore, R. L., K. Yaffe, S. Satterfield, T. B. Harris, K. M. Mehta, E. M. Simonsick, A. B. Newman, C.

Rosano, R. Rooks, S. M. Rubin, H. N. Ayonayon, and D. Schillinger. 2006. Limited literacy and mortality in the elderly: The heat, aging, and body composition study. Journal of General Internal Medicine 21(8): 806812.

Volandes, A. E., and M. K. Paasche-Orlow. 2007. Health literacy, health inequality, and a just healthcare

system. American Journal of Bioethics 7(11):510, doi: 10.1080/15265160701638520

Wolf, M. S., S. J. Knight, E. A. Lyons, R. Durazo-Arvizu, S. A. Pickard, A. Arseven, A. Arozullah, K.

Colella, P. Ray, and C. L. Bennett. 2006. Literacy, race, and PSA level among low-income men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. Urology 68(1):8993


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