The Emerging Role of Health Literacy in Chronic Disease Management: The Response to a Call for Action in Canada

Iraj Poureslami, Ph.D.; Irving Rootman, Ph.D., LLD (Hon); Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D.; and J. Mark FitzGerald, M.D., Population Health Management

Advancing the health literacy of health care professionals and the people for whom they provide care can improve prevention, diagnosis, management, and even help reverse many chronic diseases. In 2013, CRI Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D., and several experts, notably from the University of British Columbia, convened and participated in a workshop to explore what was needed in health care research and practice to improve the links between health literacy and chronic disease management. In this article, Andrew and his workshop co-conveners urge physicians to take advantage of the rapidly increasing knowledge about health literacy and apply it to their practices. The specific goal of this call to action is to motivate and support doctors to help create new knowledge about how health literacy can improve chronic disease management.