Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM
Potential Conflicts of Interest:Grant (money to institution): W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Payment for lectures including on speakers bureaus: Health Literacy Workshops, Health Impact Assessment Workshops; Consultancy: Literacy Information and Communication System, Kent State University.
Rosenfeld L.; Low Health Literacy. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155:794-795. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-11-201112060-00021
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(11):794-795.
TO THE EDITOR:
Berkman and colleagues' comprehensive review (1) updated the literature on health literacy since 2004. I appreciated this substantial undertaking and would like to include an update. The authors state that “[n]o evidence concerning oral health literacy (speaking and listening skills) and outcomes was found.” However, literature that addresses oral literacy and health outcomes does, indeed, exist.
Several studies have focused on the importance of dialogue in health by addressing oral and aural literacy. Four articles (2-5) have discussed measures of oral literacy. Two studies examining the relationship between oral literacy and health outcomes, measured skills by using the Woodcock–Johnson Tests of Achievements (Riverside Publishing, Rolling Meadows, Illinois) reported as grade equivalents (6-7). My colleagues and I found a statistically significant association between lower aural literacy skills and less successful asthma management (6). Martin and colleagues (7) found that reading, numeracy, and aural language skills were significantly associated with risk for coronary heart disease among women.
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