Improving health literacy

Richard H. Osborne PhD
Professor of Public Health; NHMRC Senior Research Fellow; Deakin University


IN 2006 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the results of a national survey that assessed health-related literacy. The study, though methodically problematic, indicated that 59% of the Australian general population had low levels of health literacy.

There is wide acknowledgement among health professionals of the importance of recognising and addressing health literacy in patient populations. However, there has been a lack of leadership in the provision of