Putting Health Literacy Into Action

Take Action to Include Health Literacy in your Role!

All stakeholders are responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of human research participants.

All stakeholders have unique contributions they can make to support the engagement and understanding of every clinical research participant.

All stakeholders can learn to develop research information that participants can understand.


Take Action

  • Partner with leadership to ensure there is buy-in at the decision-making level of an organization
  • Increase the awareness of middle managers, including specific health literacy training where applicable. Click here for training resources.
  • Support all research staff in learning more about how health literacy applies to the clinical trial life cycle. Click here for more information.

Develop participant-facing research materials:

  • Ensuring that those creating research materials are trained in health literacy and have access to health literacy tools
  • Conducting focus groups and usability testing to make sure research materials work as expected for the intended audience
  • Using an iterative process to develop research materials that includes multiple stakeholders who can provide input that is unique to their role and perspective
  • Plan for at least an annual review (if not more regularly, depending on the item or feedback you’ve received while using the material)
  • Include an assessment of:
    • technical accuracy from subject matter experts
    • understandability from representatives of the intended audience
  • Ensure that any translation of research materials is:
    • Vetted by native language speakers
    • Back-translated by an independent entity to ensure meaning is retained within different cultural contexts
    • Subjected to focus groups and usability testing in the native language of the translation
  • Set realistic goals for integrating health literacy best practices into clinical research materials and processes
  • Add small, achievable goals into annual employee/department/organizational objectives
  • Openly recognize those individuals and groups that are  achieving clear communication milestones.

IHA logoMRCT Center would like to acknowledge the Institute for Healthcare Advancement for their contributions to this content.

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