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health communication, health disparities, health literacy, literacy, microrange theory, military health system, patient education, theoretical framework, universal access



  1. Weld, CPT Konstantine Keian JD, BSN, LLM
  2. Padden, Diane PhD, CRNP
  3. Ramsey, Gloria JD, RN
  4. Garmon Bibb, Sandra C. DNSc, RN


At least one third of the US population suffers from limited health literacy, which has been linked to poorer health status, higher costs, and individuals who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. However, research and the development of theoretical frameworks to study health literacy have only recently begun to occur. The purpose of this article is to describe theoretical frameworks that have either been used or may be used to guide health literacy research and to identify implications for nursing research and practice related to an adaptation of a health literacy framework developed specifically for conducting research in populations with universal access to healthcare.