Health Literacy


Consumer's Health Literacy of Services, Medications and Insurance, Special issue of Journal of Consumer Affairs, Edited by Kathryn J. Aikin, Paula Fitzgerald Bone, Karen Russo France; Deadline 30 May 2008

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Call for Papers
The Journal of Consumer Affairs

Special Issue on:
Consumer’s Health Literacy of Services, Medications and Insurance

Special Issue Editors:

Kathryn J. Aikin
Food and Drug Administration

Paula Fitzgerald Bone
West Virginia University

Karen Russo France
West Virginia University

Health literacy has been described as "The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions." An estimated 90 million consumers have low health literacy, costing the US economy over $100 billion annually.

Manuscripts are being solicited for the Summer 2009 issue of The Journal of Consumer Affairs devoted to the effects of health literacy on consumers. The goal of this special issue is to extend our theoretical and practical knowledge of how consumers obtain, process, and utilize health information. We seek contributions from multiple disciplines including communications, consumer education, economics, finance, law, public policy, psychology and marketing. Authors may submit empirical studies or conceptual work. Papers that are theoretically grounded and also contain significant implications for consumer welfare are especially appropriate.

Topics that would be appropriate for this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Consumers understanding of health information provided by not-for-profit organizations, marketers, government agencies, and health care professionals
  • Consumers navigation of the health insurance market
  • Current approaches to and best practices for improving health literacy
  • Health literacy and preventative behaviors
  • Methods to improve health literacy
  • Limitations of health literacy
  • Health literacy and consumer protection and welfare
  • Choice-based remedies to low health literacy
  • Legal and regulatory issues affecting health literacy
  • Health literacy’s effect on patient compliance and product choice
  • Adequacy of current measures and proposed alternative measures of health literacy
  • Dimensions of health literacy

Submission Information

Manuscripts are due by May 30, 2008. Please follow the submission guidelines for The Journal of Consumer Affairs as detailed under "JCA Author Guidelines" on the Blackwell Publishing web site ( Authors wishing to submit a manuscript should send two (2) electronic copies of their manuscript (one with the full title page and one copy cleaned of all information that identifies the authors) to either of these the special issue co-editors:

Paula Fitzgerald Bone, Ph. D.
PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506-6025
(304) 293-7959 (phone)

Karen Russo France
PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506-6025
(304) 293-7957 (phone)