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Health literacy can be defined as an individual’s ability to understand health information and integrate the information to make informed decisions in order to reduce health risks and enhance overall quality of life. We partnered with the Intensive English Program (IEP) to revise an existing health document about dietary supplements for students in this program. First, we met with level two IEP students to assess their initial knowledge of dietary supplements and to determine how the document should be tailored to meet their health literacy needs. The initial document had a readability level of 12.0 according to the Microsoft Flesch-Kincaid readability tool and the Simplified Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) tool had a reading level of 13.5. Our goal was to adapt the existing health document to a 3.0 to 4.0 reading level for IEP students. This was accomplished by reducing sentence structure complexity and eliminating complex terminology. This project brought to light the need for developing and adapting existing healthcare documents for marginalized audiences with low health literacy.

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Course Project

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Ann E Biswas

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Stander Symposium poster


Presenters: Ibrahim Khaleel Alsulaimani, Maris O'Malley Ebeling, Emily Margaret Flaherty, Catherine Victoria Matheny

Adapting an existing health document to increase awareness about dietary supplements for the Intensive English Program