Empowering patients to have greater agency in, and control over health decisions.
A patient’s health literacy is their ability to read, understand, and use health care information to make informed decisions and modify behaviours that affect their personal healthcare needs. Promoting health literacy creates a more collaborative care environment, one that empowers patients to have greater agency in, and control over, their own care decisions.
CCMI’s Health Literacy offerings emphasize the importance of being able to support patients and communicate clearly so that patients and family members can truly participate in care. Participants will gain an understanding of health literacy concepts and learn practical skills for engaging with patients to ensure clear and effective communication.
The BRAIN (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, Next Steps) app is based on our popular worksheet. The app and worksheet both are designed to help you to think about the Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives to a decision. Then they ask you what your gut or intuition says and it help you to clarify the next steps that make sense to you.
The app is available for apple devices in the apple app store by searching CCMI BRAIN or going here
and for android devices in the google play store by searching CCMI BRAIN or going here
Teach Back is an evidence-based technique to confirm that a message has been understood. It has been shown to help people improve blood sugar control and avoid readmission in heart failure, and to decrease time for people taking a blood-thinning medication to get the medication dose right. Download our Teach Back Guide.
Teach-Back for Understanding
In this video Connie Davis explains how to use teach-back, a method to check that information has been communicated clearly. To download the handout, visit the handouts section on this page.
Health Literacy Umbrella
CCMI worked with health care teams in BC to develop this video, describing the “Health Literacy Umbrella”:
- Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Literacy page
- US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Literacy page
- US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Patient Involvement section, Questions to Ask Your Doctor page
- Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd Edition
- Teach-Back Observation Tool
- The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) and User’s Guide
Health and Wellness Advertising Claims Assessment Worksheet
One of the practical tools that we have partnered to develop is a worksheet for assessing health and wellness advertisements.
Click here to download: Health and Wellness Advertising Claims: So, Is it Truthful?
This tool was developed collaboratively with input from the public and professionals. We thank everyone who reviewed drafts and provided valuable feedback, including:
- Plain Language Group of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Toronto, ON
The working group provided oversight and leadership:
- Bernie Garrett, Associate Professor, UBC School of Nursing, Vancouver, BC
- Elsie Petch, MHSc, Health Literacy Consultant, Toronto, ON
- Lea Elcombe, Facilitator of the Plain Language Group of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Toronto, ON
- Alifa Khan, Patient Advocate, Orangeville, ON
- Denielle Wiebe, Graphic Designer, CCMI, Quesnel, BC
- Connie Davis, Development Project Lead, CCMI, Hope BC
BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet
One of the practical tools that we have developed is the BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet, adapted with permission from the International Childbirth Association.
Download the Brain Decision Making Worksheet here:
BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet (Health)
BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet (General)