Health Literacy and Its Impact on Health and Healthcare Outcomes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


This chapter summarizes research that investigated relationships between health literacy (using currently accepted measures) and specific classifications of health outcomes, including healthcare utilization. To better understand the causal pathway which limited health literacy affects poorer health outcomes, the literature is presented from proximal (health knowledge) to distal (mortality) outcomes. Overall, the most consistent evidence was observed at the most proximal and distal outcomes, but less consistent evidence with intermediary outcomes, particularly self-management behaviors and clinical health outcomes. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the findings and larger implications for the causal mechanisms which health literacy impacts health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Literacy in Clinical Practice and Public Health � New Initiatives and Lessons Learned at the Intersection with other Disciplines
EditorsRobert A. Logan, Elliot R. Siegel
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781643680743
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


  • Health literacy
  • causal pathway
  • health knowledge
  • health outcomes
  • self-management behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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