Low-literacy resources

Books that contain readability formulas

Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills by, Cecilia Doak, Leonard Doak, and Jane Root, Lipponcott Raven Publishers, P.O. Box 1610, Hagenston MD 21741-1610.

The cost is $25.95, plus shipping and handling. (Cost of shipping and handling depends on weight of order and shipping location.) To order the book or obtain a catalogue of other publications call: (800) 777-2295.

W.R.I.T.E. Write Readable Information to Educate by, Linda Hilts and B. Jane Krilyk, Medical Audio Visual Communications, P.O. Box 84548, Toronto, Ontario M6S 1TO Canada.

The cost is $19.99 and includes shipping and handling. To order call: (800) 757-4868.

Tools for evaluating individual patients’ health literacy levels

The Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults.

This test was developed for use in the study of functional health literacy conducted at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and Harbor - UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. (See reference note at end of literacy article, p. 44.) Patients are asked to read information such as directions for taking medication and then given a short oral quiz to see if they understood the material.

The test in both Spanish and English can be ordered for $8.00. Write: Georgia State University Center for the study of Adult Literacy, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083 Telephone: (404) 651-2405 Fax: (404) 651-1415.

Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM):

A word recognition and pronunciation test that uses medical terms that vary in difficulty.

To test REALM, order a sample kit that includes the examiners sheet for scoring and one laminated word sheet the patient reads. The cost is $10.00. Write: Louisiana State University Medical Center, Attention Terry Davis, 1501 Kings Highway, Box 598 Shreveport, LA 71130-3932 Telephone: (318) 675-5856.

Booklets written for people with limited reading skills

Mosby Consumer Health Division, 8910 S.W. Gemini Drive, Beaverton, OR 97008.

Publishes a series of pamphlets written at the third- to fourth-grade reading level. Categories include women’s’’ health, childhood asthma, type II diabetes, heart disease, and patient empowerment. Pamphlets cost 30 cents each, but discounts on bulk orders are available. To order, telephone: (800) 729-5285 or (503) 520-2143. Fax: (503) 520-0985

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, 1 Information Way, Bethesda, MD 20892-3560.

Distributes a list of diabetes educational materials, along with the name of the publisher, for people with limited reading skills. To obtain a copy of the list, write to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse or fax your request: (301) 907-8906. No phone calls, please. The list is also available on-line: ndic.aerie.com

Krames Communication, 1100 Grundy Lane, San Bruno, CA 94066-3030.

Krames publishes 45 booklets, brochures, and tear sheets for patients with low literacy skills. Titles include: "Advance Medical Directives" "Condoms and STDs" "Low-Sodium Eating" and "Total Hip Replacement." The cost varies per booklet. For example Low-Sodium Eating, an eight-page booklet, is $1.10 while Condoms and STDs, a 16-page booklet, is $1.25. Discounts on orders of 200 or more booklets are available. To obtain a list of materials telephone: (415) 742-0400 Fax: (415) 244-4568.