Nearly half of adults in England don’t understand health information material, study indicates

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8364 (Published 7 December 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8364

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  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Nearly half of adults in England are unable to understand standard health information material—such as instructions on how to calculate the dosage of paracetamol for a child—well enough to act on it, indicate results from a study reported this week.

Researchers extrapolated results for levels of literacy and numeracy collected in interviews with more than 6000 people aged 16-65 years to assess understanding of 64 items of information on health and safety. The data came from a nationally representative sample taking part in the Skills for Life survey,1 conducted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and were applied …

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