Current Content
Volume 34, Number 3
May/June 2008

Continuing Nursing Education
Health Literacy: A Pediatric Nursing Concern
ACecily L. Betz
Kathy Ruccione
Kathleen Meeske
Kathryn Smith
Nancy Chang 

Health care stakeholders and experts have identified health literacy as a major public health issue. Inadequate health literacy has been associated with a myriad of untoward health outcomes, including higher rates of hospitalization and emergency room utilization, prolonged recovery periods from illnesses, and illness complications. Experts attribute the spiraling costs of health care to low health literacy as a causative factor. To date, health literacy initiatives have been directed toward addressing the concerns of the adult population. An introduction to the issue of health literacy and its relevance to the care of children, youth, and families is provided. Implications for practice, policy, and research are addressed.