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NLM Releases New Health Literacy Tool Shed Website

The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), in collaboration with Boston University School of Medicine is pleased to announce the launch of the Health Literacy Tool Shed: http://healthliteracy.bu.edu/.

The Health Literacy Tool Shed is a free, user-friendly, unique, curated online database of more than 100 empirically validated health literacy instruments. The Tool Shed serves as an interactive, one-stop shop where researchers use provided filters to select a health literacy research instrument.

The Health Literacy Tool Shed provides background information about each instrument and enables users to compare them.

‘The new Health Literacy Tool Shed helps users choose the right instrument for their research or practice. It also helps researchers assess core issues, such as the impact of health literacy on health outcomes and health care utilization,’ says Robert A. Logan Ph.D., senior staff, National Library of Medicine.

“Understanding what affects health, how to navigate the health care system, or how to manage a chronic health condition can have a major effect on a person’s health outcomes. NLM hopes this new resource will help researchers provide new insights into how to ensure clear communication within health care settings and how to increase health literacy throughout populations,” says Betsy Humphreys, acting director, National Library of Medicine.

Each instrument within the Health Literacy Tool Shed is peer reviewed by health literacy research experts including: Michael Paasche-Orlow, M.D., M.P.H., Boston University School of Medicine; and Lauren McCormack, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., RTI International. The selected instruments vary in terms of user accessibility and cost, as mandated by the original investigator.

The website was developed following user-centered design methods to ensure the site’s relevant and ease of use.

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world's largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.

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