Limited health literacy has been associated with a range of adverse health outcomes including decreased use of preventive health services, poorer disease-specific outcomes for certain chronic conditions and increased risk of hospitalisation and mortality. Although the majority of research has been conducted in the adult population, there is a small and growing body of research on this subject in the paediatric literature. In this article, we will review the research on health literacy, consider the range of other communication skills associated with limited health literacy and explore strategies to improve patient–provider communication for clinicians who care for families with limited health-literacy skills.
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Competing interests: None.