Evolution of Health Literacy Research in Orthopaedics and Other Medical Specialties


Research has linked patient outcomes to health literacy in many areas of medicine and health over the past three decades. Early research focused on the readability of medical materials that were accessed by patients, followed by association studies establishing health literacy as a contributor to health outcomes, and finally interventions to improve those outcomes identified. Scientific exploration of how the field of orthopaedics can and should address health literacy can be accelerated if investigators follow the path that has been established through the evolution of health literacy in general over the past 30 years. Given that there have been studies on the readability of patient educational materials in orthopaedics, this agenda appears to be underway. Future research in orthopaedics and health literacy should focus on identifying specific outcomes in orthopaedics that are associated with health literacy that could be improved through future, targeted interventions. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 26(4):191–192, 2017)

SKU: JSOA-2017-26-4-W1 Categories: , Tags: ,

Kristie Hadden, PhD