Messages on medicine labels are too complicated
Health information is too complicated, experts have said.
Complicated messages on health screening posters, labels on medicines and letters from GPs mean that more than two-fifths of adults are unable to properly take in the information, a study suggests.
Researchers at London South Bank University said 43% of people aged between 16 and 65 are unable to effectively understand and use everyday health information.
They said the figure rises to 61% when the information also requires maths skills.
Previous research has indicated that people with low “health literacy” levels have poorer health.
The new study adds weight to the argument, with researchers claiming that two-thirds of people who said they were in poor health had low health literacy skills.
Gill Rowlands, professor of health disparities at London South Bank University, who led the research team, said: “Health literacy skills are needed to understand and use information in ways that promote and safeguard good health.
“We know from research in the United States and other countries that poor skills levels such as these have a huge impact and can lead to poor health.
“This is a preventable problem, which puts an increasing pressure on an already-stretched health service.
“Our priority now is to look at addressing the challenges uncovered in the research and to develop solutions to ensure health information is more easily understood.”
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!