Objective: To describe a process for developing low-literacy health education materials that increase knowledge and activate patients toward healthier behaviors.
Methods: We developed a theoretically informed process for developing educational materials. This process included convening a multidisciplinary creative team, soliciting stakeholder input, identifying key concepts to be communicated, mapping concepts to a behavioral theory, creating a supporting behavioral intervention, designing and refining materials, and assessing efficacy.
Results: We describe the use of this process to develop a diabetes self-management guide.
Conclusions: Developing low-literacy health education materials that will activate patients toward healthier behaviors requires attention to factors beyond reading level.