Health literacy is the level at which an individual can obtain, comprehend, and retain general health information and available health services. Health literacy determines more than just how well a person understands medical information. It affects how well they can navigate the medical world. There are problems that often reoccur in patient education materials. Most patient education materials should be written at a 5th or 6th grade level (Health Literacy, NIH 2015) whereas most materials are written at an 11th grade level, or higher. Many illustrations included in resources are complex and not designed to give a general overview of the anatomy. Available educational resources are not optimal for patient comprehension and retention. There are 3 simple solutions that can improve patient education materials. Readability tests should be performed on all literature prior to publication for patient use. The creation of clean, simple illustrations that focus only on the lesson being taught. The third solution would be to design educational resources that aid in patient comprehension and retention of procedures and diagnoses.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Shoulder joint--Rotator cuff--Pictorial works; Shoulder joint--Wounds and injuries--Pictorial works; Communication in public health; Health literacy

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Medical Illustration(MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

Medical Illustration (CHST)


Marcus Peter Cook

Advisor/Committee Member

James A. Perkins

Advisor/Committee Member

Glen Hintz


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes