Promoting health literacy research to reduce health disparities

J Health Commun. 2010;15 Suppl 2:34-41. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.499994.


Limited health literacy has been linked to worse health outcomes for a range of medical conditions. In addition, limited health literacy is more prevalent among specific racial and ethnic minorities. Although these findings have been widely acknowledged, little systematic research has been conducted to elucidate the role of health literacy in the creation of health disparities or to evaluate the possibility that interventions relating to health literacy may help eliminate health disparities. This paper presents recommendations for a research agenda that is focused on advancing the science for how health literacy research can promote the effort to eliminate health disparities.

MeSH terms

  • Continental Population Groups
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Health Literacy*
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States