Comparison of innovative communication approaches in nutrition to promote and improve health literacy

Ulster Med J. 2022 May;91(2):85-91. Epub 2022 Jun 15.


The translation of scientific evidence into guidelines and advice is a fundamental aspect of scientific communication within nutrition and dietetics. For communication to be effective for all patients, health literacy (HL) must be considered, i.e. an individual’s capacity to obtain, comprehend and utilise information to empower decision-making and promote their own health. HL levels are varied and difficult to judge on an individual basis and have not been quantified, thus not giving a population mean HL competency indication. It has been evidenced that most of the working age population in England cannot comprehend healthcare materials due to complexity, thereby promoting a need for agreed readability thresholds for written healthcare information. A wide range of modalities within dietetics are used to communicate to a varied audience with the primary form written, e.g. journal articles, plain language summaries and leaflets. Audio/visual and digital communications are increasing in dietetic care and welcomed by patients; however, the effectiveness of such approaches has not been studied thoroughly and digital exclusion remains a concern. Communication considering a patient’s HL level leads to empowerment which is key to effective management of chronic diseases with a high treatment burden. Therefore; this review will focus on the importance of modalities used to communicate science in nutrition to ensure they are appropriate in relation to Health Literacy.

PMID:35722219 | PMC:PMC9200103


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