Health literacy

People who are better informed about their health live longer.

Many people who deal effectively with other aspects of their lives find health information difficult to obtain, understand, or use. Patients are often faced with complex information and treatment decisions.

International research has shown that patients who are better informed about their health have more effective consultations with their health care provider, are better informed about the medicines they are prescribed, are more likely to comply with their medication and as a result have improved health outcomes.

NALA has been at the forefront of this work, making the link between literacy levels in Ireland and the impact this has on people’s health. We work closely with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and other healthcare providers to progress this area through research, training and advisory services.

Health sector services

People working in the healthcare sector play an important part in improving health literacy and numeracy by communicating more clearly and making information and services more accessible to patients. We provide research, training, audits and specialist advice.

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Health literacy tips for the public

Understanding health information correctly means you will be able to make an informed decision about your healthcare. Here are some tips to help.

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Person looking at medicine label

Health literacy tips for healthcare providers

Delivering a literacy friendly health service means you provide a quality service where the person fully understands their condition and what they need to do.

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Health literacy awareness videos

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) and the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) have produced a number of health literacy awareness videos to support cancer patients and their families. MSD Ireland funded the videos.

We developed these videos to give detailed information around a number of key areas, which affect patients’ lives on a daily basis. They are short and concise, providing a patient perspective and including helpful tips and advice.

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Literacy awareness
Cancer health literacy course

Cancer health literacy eLearning course

The Irish Cancer Society and the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)  joined forces to produce a short eLearning course for healthcare professionals that explores the benefits of good health literacy practice in cancer care. MSD Ireland funded the course.

Please note: The course takes about 20 minutes to complete. We recommend you complete it in one sitting as your progress does not save.

View the eLearning course
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