Health Literacy From A-Z

Health Literacy

Health Literacy From A-Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018)

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018) is written for someone who cares a lot about communicating health messages clearly and simply. It is also written for someone to whom health literacy is just one of many projects competing for time and attention. Whether you are a physician, nurse, pharmacist, allied health professional, case manager, public health specialist, practice manager, health educator, student, or family caregiver–this book is for you.

Intended as an easy-to-use guide, this book is written in a way to inform and inspire but not overwhelm you. There are 42 stand-alone chapters. Arranged alphabetically from A to Z, each chapter includes:

  • Starting Points. Introductory information providing context for strategies that follow.
  • Strategies, Ideas, and Suggestions. How-to ways of communicating clearly.
  • Stories from Practice. Real-life experiences that make key points “come alive.”
  • Sources to Learn More. Resources to continue learning about each topic.

To buy this book

  • Go to Amazon for print copies.
  • For digital copies go to Kindle or ibooks. Also available by rental or lifetime access at RedShelf.
  • Universities can also work with their wholesale sources to purchase multiple copies of this book.
  • For other purchasing inquiries, contact Helen Osborne (author) or Susan Friedmann (publisher). Purchase orders are not accepted.

Reader Reviews


“Your book is brilliant and comprehensive. It should be required reading for every medical student…and nurse, and patient. Even someone who is fairly savvy about medical terms and comfortable with doctors and nurses will benefit from this work.“

Joel Kowit PhD,
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology,
Emmanuel College, Boston, MA & Founder and Director, Immunology Workshops

“This timeless guide is essential for health communicators. Especially in this era of complex, consumer-drive health care, Health Literacy from A to Z is like having a trusted colleague offer thoughtful, clear, practical advice for making health information usable, understandable and always respectful.“

Leigh Curtin-Wilding MSc,
Director of Boston University’s Health Communication Graduate Program

“This book provides a great solution to this ubiquitous problem. It’s very well-written; easy to read; and chock-full of facts and information, which can be used daily in clinical practise. I especially love the ‘Stories from Practice’ which provide real life examples of how these tools can be used!”

Aniruddha Malpani, MD,
Mumbai, India

“As Patient/Family Education Coordinator for our hospital I spent a over a year learning piecemeal what is offered in a nutshell in this book. It also gives detailed ‘Sources to Learn More’ at the end of each chapter. No digging for additional info–it is right there at your fingertips. I wish I had had this book when I first started in this postion. It would have been helpful in steering me on a more efficient path.”

Bonnie Ronan,
Patient/Family Education Coordinator

“You can read the book from A to Z, if that’s your preferred approach. Or you can look up a topic of interest, such as Document Design, Interpreters and Translations, Listening and Speaking, Numeracy, Visuals, or any of the others, including several important chapters on Knowing Your Audience. My favorite way to read it is to open it up anywhere and read whatever is on that page, because everything in the book is practical what-to-do and how-to-do-it.”

Naomi Karten,
Author and Speaker

“Your book, Health Literacy from A to Z, is one of the most informative books I have ever read on the subject. It has helped me with several projects.”

Kashika Sahay,
Student at the University of Rochester

“I received a copy of Health Literacy from A to Z in the mail last week, but just now had a chance to crack the binding. What a joy it is. The tone is at once folksy and warm, but also authoritative. It contains so many good ideas for practice that I feel I ought to number them 1-365 and try one out each day. Not surprisingly, the best thing about it (to me, at any rate), is that you’ve done that Helen Osborne thing that you do so well: woven together diverse voices into a tapestry of collective wisdom. Bravo!”

Don Rubin PhD,
Center for Health & Risk Communication,
University of Georgia

Health Literacy From A to Z: Practical ways to communicate your health message

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Author: Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR

ISBN: 978-1-947937-13-0

Updated version: January 14, 2018. From Health Literacy Press, a division of Aviva Publishing