Health Literacy, Cultural Competency, and Health Equity Web Resources

The following list was curated to help researchers find information about health literacy, cultural competency and health equity that may be helpful to your work.

Health Literacy

  • CDC Health literacy: The intent of this site is to provide tools for any individuals/groups to examine the literacy level of their communications in order to adjust appropriately for their target audience.
  • Ethnomed: Cross cultural Health and cultural competency links for immigrant and refugee interactions. Included in these links are mental health and palliative care, interpreter’s course and more.
  • AHRQ Universal Precautions in Health Literacy Toolkit: The agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides excellent toolkits and implementation plans for universal precautions in health literacy for in research.
  • National Academy of Medicine: This site has a series of current articles, including this one on personalized medicine and health literacy.
  • AHRQ toolkit for measuring health literacy:  This is a tool for assessing the health literacy both for English speakers and Spanish speakers.

Cultural Competency

  • The Cross Cultural Health Care Program (CCHCP): This program provides training for medical translators to address cultural and linguistic communications for connecting communities to health care.
  • National Institute of Health Clear Communications: This federal agency initiative focuses on providing plain language and new technologies to address health literacy and cultural competency that is audience appropriate. The NIH communications office works toward cultural respect, a critical component of reducing health disparities and improve communications. This site provides resources for Health Literacy, Plain Language, and Cultural Competency.
  • National Center for Cultural Competency: The mission of the NCCC is to increase the capacity of health care and mental health care programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems to address growing diversity, persistent disparities, and to promote health and mental health equity.
  • Think Cultural Health: This site, sponsored by the Office of Minority Health, offers resources and tools to promote cultural and linguistic competency in health care. There are continuing education programs as well as tools that provide respectful, understandable and effective services. Think Cultural Health is the flagship initiative of the OMH Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care. The goal of Think Cultural Health is to Advance Health Equity at Every Point of Contact through the development and promotion of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
  • CTTI: Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative is a public-private partnership organization to identify and develop tools and best practices to improve clinical trials investigations. Tools they have include Patient Engagement, Informed Consent, and they are currently working on mHealth Technologies. A favorite tool is the Informed Consent Process Tool for understandability.
  • United Health Group: This site provides a glossary of medical /insurance terms called “Just Plain Clear.” The glossary is in both English and Spanish.
  • Communicate Health: This site contains a short glossary of common words and phrases used in health literacy. This company creates materials including websites that include appropriate health literacy language. They also provide a blog with health literacy tips.
  • AHRQ-Toolkit: This is a toolkit for health literacy for informed consent and health authorizations in research. This guidance document provides excellent plain language templates for informed consent and several scenarios for health authorization templates that include investigators covered under the institution or obtaining data from a covered institution but not an employee of that institution.
  • AccrualNet (National Cancer Institute): Strategies, tools and resources to support accrual to clinical trials. Includes links to articles on cultural and language barriers and low literacy assessment articles.
  • Informed consent video: This video is produced by National Institutes of Health and explains the informed consent process with respect to clear communication that includes body language.
  • Culture Clues: University of Washington Medical Center tip sheets for health communications with 10 different cultures.

Health Equity

  • Health Equity Initiative: The mission of this website is to build and sustain a global community that engages across sectors and disciplines to advance health equity.
  • National Partnership for Action: The goal of NPA is to increase the effectiveness of programs that target the elimination of health disparities through the coordination of partners, leaders, and stakeholders committed to action.
  • The Office of Minority Health: This federal agency works to develop health policies and programs for improvement of the health of racial and ethnic minority populations and to eliminate health disparities. The site has grants, webinars and many other useful links.
  • Institute of Medicine: This is the site for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. This website is for meetings/conferences on topics related to health disparities and health literacy. There are also links to reports on this site.
  • Association of American Medical Colleges: Accelerating Health Equity Advancing through Discovery (AHEAD) is an initiative to identify, evaluate and disseminate effective practices to improve health equity. Also on this site is a series of webinars on racial and ethnic disparities.
  • Healthy People 2020: This site has extensive tools and resources for evidence based guides. There are also archived webinars on various topics.