Health Literacy

The Canadian Public Health Association defines health literacy as “the ability to access, comprehend, evaluate, and communicate information as a way to promote, maintain and improve health in a variety of settings across the life-course.”   Health literacy is important because informed individuals are more likely to take control of their health and confidently make positive health-related decisions.

In a few months, RhPAP will be launching RhPAP U, an interactive online resource that will provide rural Albertans with health information.  RhPAP U will explore five broad topics: rural population health; rural health policy; rural health research; rural health service delivery; and rural health workforce.  The goal of RhPAP U is to increase health literacy among rural Albertans, and to provide rural Albertans with the confidence and resources to make positive decisions for their health and the health of their communities.

In this month’s Rural VIP survey, RhPAP is asking about your current resources for receiving health information and your experience with those resources.   

We will share the survey results with our partners in education, health care, and community development.

This survey should take less than five minutes to complete.

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* 1. If you answered "Yes" to Question 1, in which AHS (Alberta Health Services) zone do you live?

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* 2. Are you a resident of Alberta?

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AHS Zone Map

<strong>AHS Zone Map</strong>

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* 3. Do you live in a rural or remote community with a population under 15,000?

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* 4. Are you currently working as a health professional (physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, midwife, or allied health-care professional)?

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* 5. How often do you seek information from the following resources when making health-care decisions?

  Always Usually Sometimes Rarely Never
Alberta Health Services website
Clinic website (such as
Other government website (provincial, federal)
Online blogs
Your primary health-care provider (your family doctor or nurse practitioner)
Other health professional (such as nurse, therapist, etc.)
Brochures from your clinic, PCN, or hospital
Calling Health Link (811)
Talking with your family and/or friends

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* 6. For the resources that you use to seek health information, to what extent do you agree with the following statements?

  Strongly agree Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree Strongly disagree
I could not find enough information.
There were gaps in the information (ie. no information on risks).
The information was biased.
Different resources had contradicting information.
I did not trust the information.

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* 7. Regarding your health literacy, to what extent do you agree with the following statements?

  Strongly agree Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree Strongly disagree
I know where to seek information to make decisions about my health.
I feel confident when talking about and making decisions about my health.
I know how to find out where to get professional medical help when I am ill.
I understand how to navigate Alberta's health-care system.
I am prepared if I need to make decisions about my health.
Please Note: Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual, or as required by law.