This chapter summarizes research that investigated relationships between health literacy (using currently accepted measures) and specific classifications of health outcomes, including healthcare utilization. To better understand the causal pathway which limited health literacy affects poorer health outcomes, the literature is presented from proximal (health knowledge) to distal (mortality) outcomes. Overall, the most consistent evidence was observed at the most proximal and distal outcomes, but less consistent evidence with intermediary outcomes, particularly self-management behaviors and clinical health outcomes. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the findings and larger implications for the causal mechanisms which health literacy impacts health outcomes.
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