Implementing the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) to Improve Health Literacy at a Rural Community Health Center

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stephanie,L. Lewis (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Health literacy, as defined by the Institute of Medicine, is "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic information and services needed to make appropriate decisions regarding their health" (Institute of Medicine, 2013, p. 1). Improving health literacy has been identified as a national health priority to improve health outcomes (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). Currently, much of the health information available is written at a reading level that most individuals do not understand (Helitzer, Hollis, Cotner, & Oestreicher, 2009). Low health literacy skills increase problems with adherence to prescribed treatment regimens (Taylor-Clarke et al., 2012). This is particularly problematic for heart disease since it is the leading cause of death in the United States (Kochanek, Xu, Murphy, & Kung, 2011). To ensure health education materials are universally appropriate they should be assessed using a comprehensive tool that evaluates areas in addition to readability, such as content, graphics, and cultural appropriateness (Doak, Doak, & Root, 1995). This honors project will be conducted at a rural community health center. This community health center is one of 20 centers in a rural health center network. A community health nurse at this center will serve as the primary key informant for this project. The purpose of this study is to assess the suitability of heart disease health information distributed at a rural community health center, using the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) tool, and examine the role of the community health nurse in the dissemination of these materials. This project has two objectives 1) to review 5-10 heart disease related health education materials for use with clients served by a community health center; and 2) to design a system of evaluating, acquiring, and disseminating health information that is suitable for the clients in need of preventing or managing heart disease. The implementation of a system of accessible and appropriate health education materials for individuals to prevent or manage heart disease is a community and systems level intervention employing the public health interventions of advocacy and health teaching.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Community health, Health education, Nursing, Health literacy, Patient education, Heart--Diseases

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