AHEC Comics Health Information Literacy Project

Health Literacy Super Powers

There are ways to communicate health information so that more people are able to understand what you are saying. Check out some tactics below for using your x-ray vision to identify good resources and ways to beam that information out to everyone.

What is plain language?

Plain language is one part of health information literacy. It is a strategy for making information, written and oral, easier to understand.

Vanessa reminds Brian how using medical jargon (cardiovascular, hypertension, obesity) can be more confusing than using plain language (heart health, high blood pressure, overweight).

Tips for Improving Health Information Literacy

  1. Keep important points first.
  2. Chunk it! Break information into smaller pieces and use headings.
  3. Avoid using jargon and technical terms. For example, use "heart health" instead of "cardiovascular health."
  4. Use the active voice. For example, "the heart pumps blood" instead of "blood is pumped by the heart."

How to identify credible sources?

You can find just about anything on the internet, good and bad. It is important to know how to filter the information and identify good and credible resources of health information. Rx learned the hard way about untrustworthy information from the internet with a painful sunburn.

Rx got a horrible sunburned after listening to some non-credible advice on the internet.

Questions to ask when identifying credible internet sources:

  1. Authority: Who is the author? Are the sources cited? What are the author's credentials? Can you contact the author? Who is the sponsor?
  2. Accuracy: Can you verify the information? Is the information reliable and free from error?
  3. Bias: Is the information objective? Is the site biased?
  4. Currency: What is the date of the last update? When was the information published?
  5. Purpose: What is the purpose? Does the resource advocate a position on the subject? Is research summarized?

Why is this important?

Low health literacy levels are associated with many poor health outcomes. Cruise over to the Health Information Literacy page to learn more about why health information literacy is important for all of us.


South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium educates, recruits and retains healthcare providers for the state.

South Carolina AHEC is a state agency that was originally established in 1972.


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