in this report represents diverse fields and academic disciplines. In particular, Institute of Medicine (IOM) staff used in-house databases, including Academic Premier Search, Medline, ERIC,1 PsychInfo, Sociological Abstracts, and CINAHL2 to identify relevant peer-reviewed literature. Keyword searches include the following: “health literacy,” “literacy and health,” and “reading and health.” Additional studies for consideration were identified through testimony to the committee by experts in the field.


The study committee hosted three 1-day public workshops in order to obtain input from various stakeholders, consumers, and researchers. These workshops were held in conjunction with three of the six committee meetings mentioned above.

The first public workshop of the committee was held on December 10–11, 2002 in Washington, DC. This workshop focused on health literacy-related activities in federal government agencies, academia, and other relevant organizations. Michael Pignone, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine, presented information about an ongoing research project sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality intended to review the evidence base of health literacy research. Arlene S. Bierman, M.D., M.S., from the Center of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, spoke about health disparities and health literacy. Lawrence J. Fine, M.D., Dr. P.H., of the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health, discussed how health literacy relates to other areas in health such as health disparities, behavioral change, and socioeconomic determinants of health such as education. Cynthia Baur, Ph.D., of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about federal involvement in health literacy efforts and how to leverage existing work that is relevant to the field. Anthony Tirone, J.D., from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), discussed some of the work of JCAHO that has implications for how health systems respond to health literacy. Marisa Scala, M.G.S., from the Center for Medicare Education of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, talked about the specific needs of the Medicare population as they relate to health literacy. Karen Lechter, J.D., Ph.D., from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided an


Educational Resources Information Center.


Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

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