We use many methods to educate our patients. How do we know that they understand what we are teaching them? This week we are going to discuss health literacy. The two main responsibilities of the nurse are to assess health literacy and implement education that ensures patient understanding.

Please use at least one scholarly peer-reviewed reference within the last 10 years

Assess literacy:

Select a patient/ friend/family member. DO NOT choose someone who works in health care

administer the literacy test, “The Newest Vital Sign”

The following website will give you specific information on interpreting the assessment. https://www.pfizer.com/health/literacy/public-policy-researchers/nvs-toolkit (hyperlink)

Evaluate Patient Education Materials

Use patient information materials that you find on the internet OR that you are using in your clinical area that you can access electronically.

Copy the text of the chosen patient education material.

Go to https://readabilityformulas.com/ (hyperlink) and paste the text into the indicated text box and select “check text readability”.

Interpret your findings


Please use at least one scholarly peer-reviewed reference within the last 10 years

In your initial discussion post, address the following points:

1. The Newest Vital Sign and Health Literacy

What do you think about the “newest vital sign”? Consider discussing the pros and cons of its use in general and specific to your clinical population.

Do you currently evaluate the health literacy of your patients? How? Is this realistic in your current clinical setting?

How do you know if health literacy is a problem in your clinical population?

Introduce the person/patient you performed the literacy evaluation on. Tell us the gender, age, medical issues, cultural considerations (ex: ESL), and developmental stage (Erikson/Piaget) and how these factors or developmental stage may affect health literacy and influence health teaching. Include some background on this person DO NOT Identify them by their real name or that they are your spouse/parent etc.

What did the literacy test show?

What will you do as a result of what you found?

2. Readability of Patient Education Materials

What was the title of the patient education material you evaluated using the readability checker (https://readabilityformulas.com/)? What did you find? Please provide specific assessment data and interpret this data as being appropriate for your clinical population.

After reviewing the material in Chapter 7 in Bastable on readability, what methods could you use to measure the readability of patient education materials in the future? Explain your answer?

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