Applying Organizational Health Literacy to Maternal and Child Health
- 46 Downloads
Purpose Describe the development of an innovative teaching activity that applies organizational health literacy to maternal and child health (MCH). Description Health literacy is a strong predictor of health behavior and outcomes. While the study of health literacy has traditionally been confined to skills and capacities of individuals, the significant role of the social and physical environmental contexts in facilitating or hindering one’s ability to obtain, understand, and make informed decision about their health has been recognized. MCH organizations play a critical role in influencing health literacy across system levels. This teaching activity aims to equip students with knowledge and skills needed to foster organizational health literacy. Assessment The teaching activity is assembled within a toolkit which includes the following: (1) instructor lesson plan; (2) interactive PowerPoint presentation with instructor notes; (3) field assignment description; (4) health literacy attribute assessment worksheets; and (5) grading rubric. The teaching tool was pilot tested by a student research team member to assess the educational value and assignment logistics, resulting in minor edits (i.e., addition of interviewer probes, and option of a group project-format to permit triangulation of multiple organizational interviews). Conclusion The field of MCH is expanding in complexity, and the demands of health systems on women, children, and families must be mediated by conscious efforts within organizations. Through teaching the importance and function of organizational health literacy to students in MCH, educators can prepare an emerging workforce to improve health literacy, and ultimately the quality of healthcare for women, children, and families.
KeywordsOrganizational health literacy Teaching activity Maternal and child health Graduate education
This project was funded by a 2016 Innovative Teaching Award from the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2017). AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/literacy-toolkit/index.html.
- Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Education Committee. (2004). Master’s degree in public health core competency development project. Retrieved from http://www.aspph.org/app/uploads/2014/04/Version2.31_FINAL.pdf.
- Division of Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development. (2009). Maternal and child health leadership competencies, Version 3.0. Retrieved from http://leadership.mchtraining.net/.
- Farmanova, E., Bonneville, L., & Bouchard, L. (2018). Organizational health literacy: Review of theories, frameworks, guides, and implementation issues. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 55, 1–7.Google Scholar
- Ratzan, S. C., & Parker, R. M. (2000). National library of medicine current bibliographies in medicine: Health literacy (Vol. NLM Pub. No. CBM 2000-1). Bethesda: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010a). National action plan to improve health literacy. Retrieved from https://health.gov/communication/initiatives/health-literacy-action-plan.asp.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010b). Quick guide to health literacy. Retrieved from https://health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/Quickguide.pdf.