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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Support for this project was provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, California HealthCare Foundation, Commonwealth Fund, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, MetLife Foundation, National Cancer Institute, Pfizer Corporation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views presented in this report are those of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Literacy and are not necessarily those of the funding agencies.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Health literacy : a prescription to end confusion / editors, Lynn Nielsen-Bohlman … [et al.] ; Committee on Health Literacy, Board on Neuroscience and Behavioral Health, [Institute of Medicine].

p. ; cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-309-09117-9 (hardcover)—ISBN 0-309-52926-3 (pdf)

1. Health education—United States. 2. Literacy—United States.

[DNLM: 1. Health Education—methods—United States. 2. Health Education—standards—United States. 3. Communication Barriers—United States. 4. Educational Status—United States. WA 590 H4362 2004] I. Nielsen-Bohlman, Lynn. II. Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Health Literacy.

RA440.H43 2004

613′.07′1073—dc22

2004004829

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Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

COVER: Adapted from a design by Anne Quito, Academy for Educational Development.

The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history. The serpent adopted as a logotype by the Institute of Medicine is a relief carving from ancient Greece, now held by the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.



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