Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Clients’ and Nurse’s Education


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities: Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
American Medical Association (AMA) Health Literacy Program:
British Columbia-BC Patient Safety & Quality Council “It’s good to Ask” program
CancerCare Ontario: Patient Education Evidence-based Series:
Health Literacy Connection
Health Literacy Universal Precautions Tool Kit
Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety: “It’s Safe to Ask” Program
North Carolina Program on Health Literacy
Safe to Ask
Society for Participatory Medicine
United States National Patient Safety Foundation: “Ask Me 3” Program
Classic text related to teaching patients with low literacy skills:
Doak, C., Doak, L. & Root, J. (1996). Teaching patients with low literacy skills. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott. The book is out of print but can be accessed online:
How to book on writing health information for patients and families:
Guidelines for Creating Materials:
Rudd, Rima E. (no date) Online Resources for Developing and Assessing Materials. Harvard Health Literacy Studies. (accessed May 2, 2012)
Article which describes and dispels the myths of plain language and provides references on the research behind plain language strategies:
 Stableford, S. & Mettger, W. (2007). Plain language: A strategic response to the health literacy challenge. Journal of Public Health, 5, 395-404.