Project Summary

The relationship between limited health literacy (HL) and adverse health outcomes has been well documented; however, the research methods to advance the intersection of health literacy and patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) have not been developed. Important steps include cultivating the role of health literacy in PCOR and advancing patient-centered methods in health literacy research. This project promotes these objectives with two annual national professional interdisciplinary conferences and related dissemination activities for investigators dedicated to health literacy and PCOR research. These meetings will be designed to provide a venue to focus attention on intermeshing health literacy and PCOR. Our patient and stakeholder engagement plan includes inviting patients, caregivers, and advocates to attend all activities of the conferences, and they will specifically be organized to attend and provide feedback each year on the pre-course, the Research-in-Progress session, and each of the poster sessions. A liaison will be assigned to offer support, and help guide these stakeholders through the conference experience, helping to maximize their opportunities. The conferences will serve as an incubator for young investigators as well as stakeholders to encourage a cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge, collaboration, and creativity. The project team aims to create an environment in which controversial topics within the research community can be openly discussed. To help make this project a success, in 2017, the project team is collaborating closely with the Academy of Communication in Healthcare to combine their annual meeting with the Health Literacy Annual Research Conference (HARC). Outcomes of this project include the meeting itself, which will be disseminated in several ways:

1) Journal Publication: Dr. Paasche-Orlow is the editor-in-chief of a new online journal titled Health Literacy Research & Progress. A special issue is planned after each conference to focus on HL-PCORL synergy content presented at the meeting.

2) NAM: The National Academy of Medicine Health Literacy Roundtable conducted a day-long workshop based on findings from HARC. Discussions are underway with the IOM regarding the timing for the next workshop based on findings from HARC.

3) HARC Website: The project team has developed a meeting Web site ( with archives of presentations and will do this as well for the conference presentations in 2017 and 2018.

4) PowerPoint Presentation: The slides for the pre-course for patient stakeholders will be posted and made available.

5) Mission-in-a-Minute videos (video statements of investigators, educators, and stakeholders describing their specific interests in HL-PCOR synergy and what they hope to achieve) will be edited, presented on the HARC website and made available. An additional outcome is a webinar to be held in the spring following each meeting that will discuss the current state of HL-PCOR synergy, and its ongoing improvement. 

More on This Project

Conference website available here.

Project Information

Michael Paasche-Orlow, MD, MPH
Boston University Medical Center

Key Dates

24 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: November 10, 2022