Date of Submission

Spring 5-26-2020

Document Type




First Advisor

Dr. Jo Loomis

Second Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella


Objective: In the veteran population, almost one in every five patients has inadequate or marginal health literacy (Haun, Patel, French, Campbell, & Lapcevic, 2015). Having low health literacy predisposes patients to high emergency room (ER) utilization and hospital readmission (Mitchell, Sadikova, Jack, & Paasche-Orlow, 2012) and low treatment adherence (Miller, 2016). This manuscript aims to review the literature about health literacy and to encourage effective, standardized health education delivery to increase health literacy.

Method: An integrated review of the literature from Cochrane, Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI), Scopus, CINAHL, and PubMed databases showed the importance of bridging the health literacy gap.

Result: The integrated review of the literature provides evidence that timely and applicable health education increases health literacy and promotes improvement in patient engagement.

Conclusion: Adapting effective health education delivery to increase health literacy improves patient engagement and shared decision-making, self-management skills, adherence to treatment plans, and quality of life.

Practice Implication: The emergence of new information technologies creates new opportunities and challenges for a settings approach to health promotion. It is by increasing health literacy, improving patient engagement, and reducing healthcare costs that a healthcare service system can pave the way for the achievement of enhanced sustainability.

Included in

Nursing Commons