174639 Health literacy in two languages: Creating easy-to-read health education materials in English and Spanish for women of childbearing age

Monday, October 27, 2008

Karen Kroder , Education and Health Promotion, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Lilliam Acosta-Sanchez, MPH , Education and Health Promotion, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Wendy Mettger, MA , Mettger Communications, Takoma Park, MD
Aracely Rosales, BS , Rosales Communication, Plain Language and Culture, Philadelphia, PA
The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. One way we achieve our mission is by reaching the nearly 62 million women of childbearing age in the United States with education materials on having a healthy pregnancy, including reducing their risk for premature birth. The rate of premature birth in this country has risen 30 percent in the last 20 years, with more than half a million babies annually born too early. Because Hispanics are the fastest-growing racial/ethnic minority in the United States (1 in 4 live births is to Hispanic women), we offer these materials in English and Spanish. Recently, the March of Dimes has become a champion in efforts to address the problem of low health literacy. Nearly half of all American adults have trouble understanding and using health information. Therefore, to best reach all women of childbearing age, the March of Dimes is creating a portfolio of easy-to-read (ETR) products in English and Spanish to educate women and families on topics like preconception and prenatal care, prematurity, and newborn health. This presentation will describe the March of Dimes commitment to health literacy; provide an overview of our ETR development process in two languages; and highlight our most recent ETR initiatives, including our bilingual magazine and pregnancy glossary, and new prematurity-related materials on interconception care, fertility treatment and late-preterm birth.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the need for easy-to-read education materials for women of childbearing age in English and Spanish. 2. Identify components of the easy-to-read development process, including translation, cultural adaptation and field testing. 3. Describe the transition from separate, single-language materials to bilingual products.

Keywords: Health Literacy, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for producing easy-to-read education materials for the March of Dimes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.