[HealthLiteracy 5312] Re: Help locating competencies for health literacy documents

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Clifford Coleman colemanc at ohsu.edu
Thu Jan 13 15:12:20 EST 2011

Hi Julie,
Thanks for the inquiry. The foundation for the consensus work we’re doing is rooted in the Calgary Charter’s assertion that HL is a health professional issue as much as a patient issue. Because we still lack an operationalized definition of HL, the theoretical underpinning of the consensus work is underdeveloped at best. Indeed, this theoretical deficiency is the reason we chose an expert consensus model in the first place.

Based on an extensive literature review, which I conducted, we identified a list of potential health literacy knowledge, skill, and attitude competencies for health professionals. In addition, we identified a similar list of health literacy practices, which could be used to determine whether the identified competencies are applied by health professionals in their real-world activities.

A diverse group of health professions educators from FASHP member organizations are currently engaged in a Delphi consensus-building process using this list of potential competencies and practices.

I will be discussing this in more detail at the Wisconsin HL Summit in April and at the IHA HL Conference in May for those who may be able to attend.



From: healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov [mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] On Behalf Of Julie McKinney
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:58 AM
To: healthliteracy at lincs.ed.gov
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5311] Re: Help locating competencies for health literacy documents

Bonnie and Olivia and Cliff,

Thanks for doing this work and continuing to address it on this list! I hope that you all will share with us periodically what is happening in your projects.

Cliff, and all from the FASHP group: I look forward to hearing more about your process of coming to consensus on the competencies. I also would like to know what theoretical concept of health literacy you started with in that process. Did you generally follow the concept outlined in The Calgary Charter on Health Literacy:
Rationale and Core Principles for the Development of Health Literacy Curricula?

Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

All the best,

P.S. You can find the Calgary Charter here:

Julie McKinney
Health Literacy List Moderator
World Education
jmckinney at worlded.org

>>> Bonnie Braun 01/13/11 9:47 AM >>>

Cliff, your response is one reason we reached out to the list-serve. You are confirming what we're thinking. Thank you for the leads and insight.

From: healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov [healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] On Behalf Of Clifford Coleman [colemanc at ohsu.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 1:54 PM
To: The Health and Literacy Discussion List
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5308] Re: Help locating competencies for health literacy documents
Bonnie and Olivia,

Your project is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you’ve found in your searching, no such public documents currently exist. Probably the closest thing to a guideline is the AMA Foundation’s “Health Literacy: A Manual for Clinicians” (Weiss, 2003). Beyond this resource, a plethora of “health literacy practices” have been promoted through a diverse body of literature, however, few, if any, of these have been evaluated adequately enough to be considered guidelines or established “competencies,” as of yet.

Health Literacy Missouri and the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions are currently developing a consensus statement which will outline a set of health literacy competencies (knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices) for health professionals. You can find more details at http://www.healthliteracymissouri.org/focus-on-missouri/schools-of-health-professionals-meeting/. We hope to have the consensus statement done by this summer.

Looking forward to hearing more about your project!


Cliff Coleman, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University
Richmond Family Health Center
3930 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 418-3900

From: healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov [mailto:healthliteracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] On Behalf Of Bonnie Braun
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 11:54 AM
To: The Health and Literacy Discussion List
Cc: Olivia Denise Carter-Pokras
Subject: [HealthLiteracy 5305] Help locating competencies for health literacy documents

Good afternoon. We are asking for help in identifying documents that outline health literacy competencies for health professionals.

The University of Maryland College Park Horowitz Center for Health Literacy and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are planning a resource guide for health professional educators to use as a basis for developing cultural and health literacy competency within their students.

Our first task is to locate documents that have identified competencies for both as a basis for analysis of overlap and gaps. We are primarily seeking competencies for individual professionals; secondarily, competencies for an organization or system.

Any guidance you can give us is greatly welcomed as I know some of you are involved in related research; curriculum development or instruction that involves health literacy competency. Your response by Friday, January 14 will help us meet our task timetable.

Thank you,

Bonnie Braun, PhD, Endowed Chair and Director, Horowitz Center for Health Literacy

Olivia Carter-Pokras, PhD, Maryland's Approach to Cultural Competency in Healthcare

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