How the stigma of low literacy can impair patient-professional spoken interactions and affect health: insights from a qualitative investigation

Phyllis Easton, Vikki A Entwistle, Brian Williams

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Low literacy is a significant problem across the developed world. A considerable body of research has reported associations between low literacy and less appropriate access to healthcare services, lower likelihood of self-managing health conditions well, and poorer health outcomes. There is a need to explore the previously neglected perspectives of people with low literacy to help explain how low literacy can lead to poor health, and to consider how to improve the ability of health services to meet their needs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number319
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2013



  • low literacy
  • patient-provider communication
  • patient-provider relationships
  • person-centred care
  • qualitative

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