Enhancing Student Knowledge About the Prevalence and Consequences of Low Health Literacy

Document Type


Publication Date



Educational Leadership and School Counseling


Objective. To enhance pharmacy students' knowledge of the prevalence and consequences of low health literacy, enable them to help identify these patients, and improve their knowledge of and comfort with potential strategies to assist patients in overcoming health literacy barriers. Design. This educational approach consisted of a 50-minute presentation, small-group active-learning activities, and a pretest and posttest. Four evaluation questions were added to the posttest. Assessment. Students improved their knowledge of health literacy and increased their comfort with their ability to identify and help patients with low health literacy and review patient education materials for suitability for this population. Most students agreed that (1) they had previously underestimated the prevalence of low health literacy, (2) the small-group activities were useful, and (3) they could apply what they learned to practice. Conclusions. Pharmacists play an important role in identifying and assisting patients with low health literacy. This educational approach can be adapted for use with students in the advanced pharmacy practice experiential program and practicing pharmacists.

Publication Title

American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education