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Texas Health Educators’ Health Literacy Competence and Professional Preparation: A Multiple Perspective
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Limited health literacy challenges healthcare and perpetuates health disparities. Health Agencies, such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), have recommended health literacy training for all health professionals, but little is known about health education specialists’ health literacy preparation and competence. In this dissertation, qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to examine the extent to which health education specialists are prepared to support health literacy capacity building by individuals and communities. The aims of the study were to: 1) assess the data on health literacy education and training for healthcare workers in order to construct an understanding of how health literacy preparation is emerging for health professionals in general and health educators in particular; 2) evaluate the scope (breadth and depth) of health literacy content in the health education/health promotion curricula of selected Texas public universities; 3) assess health education students’ health literacy knowledge and skills; and 4) capture the perceptions of practicing health education specialists regarding health literacy and the role it plays in their practice. A systematic review of the extant literature showed even though there is no formal standard for instruction, health literacy is emerging similarly across disciplines. Instruction, however, focuses on functional level skills and there is a dearth of research on preparation for public health workers. A syllabi analysis also found health literacy is not represented in the intended curricula. Further, health education students and practitioners have limited knowledge about health literacy. There is discrepancy between their self-reported health literacy preparation and competence, their demonstrated knowledge, and the intended content of instruction.
systematic literature review
Moultin nee Dawkins, Lenna (2017). Texas Health Educators’ Health Literacy Competence and Professional Preparation: A Multiple Perspective. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from
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