Printed health content can come in a variety of forms, from dense black and white medication package inserts in 6-point font, to full color pictorials that tell a story without any words, to anything in between. Health Literacy Universal Precautions suggests creating communications that are accessible to audiences of all literacy levels.
Printed health information has several advantages:
- Materials can be relatively inexpensive to design and create.
- Printed information does not require any special equipment to access.
- Content may be physically or scanned and electronically shared with others.
- Print materials cannot be hacked like electronic communications, although privacy laws covering personal health information (PHI) still apply.
Printed health information may not be accessible for:
- Consumers who have vision or auditory impairments. Audiovisual formats with ALT text may be better suited, particularly for those using screen reading technology.
- Consumers with basic or below basic literacy skills. This is especially true for documents that contain a large amount of prose. While plain language content combined with descriptive graphics or illustrations can help, audiovisual materials may be more effective for this population.
- Consumers who prefer information printed in a different language. Unless it is available in multiple languages, print information can exclude linguistically diverse audiences.
There are a large number of health literacy resources available to guide development and evaluation of printed materials.
- Links to other relevant areas of CHLS site
- Links to resources