Thesis Defense: Ashlen Ramit


Apr. 25, 2024, 10am to 11am

Campus Location

Office/Remote Location



Ashlen Ramit, M.S. Candidate

Department of Healthcare Administration & Policy

Examining Health Literacy In American Indians/Alaskan Natives And Future Directions Of Digital Health Literacy: A Systematic Review

Advisory Committee Members:

  • Yonsu Kim, Ph.D., Advisory Committee Chair
  • Christopher Cochran, Ph.D., Advisory Committee Member
  • Timothy Bungum, Ph.D., Advisory Committee Member
  • Dieu-My Tran, Ph.D., Graduate College Representative


  • Health literacy skills are used to find, read, understand, and apply health-related information to make appropriate health decisions. Health literacy levels have been closely associated with determining an individual's health quality and outcomes. Evidence has shown low health literacy levels lead to low preventative health action, delayed use of healthcare services, misunderstanding of medical conditions, low adherence to medical directions, and lack of self-care. With the increase in telehealth, mobile health services, and online information portals, a shift in improving digital health literacy has emerged to combat the consequences of low health literacy. In the United States, over 48% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives were reported to have low health literacy, placing them at higher risk for injury, illness, and disease. Yet, very few approaches have been made to improving health literacy in American Indians/Alaskan Natives. Using a systematic review methodology, this paper aimed to (1) examine the current state of health literacy among American Indians/Alaskan Natives and (2) determine possible approaches to improving health in American Indians/Alaskan Natives with digital health literacy. A total of 19 studies were examined from 2005 to 2022 in the United States and Canada, using databases PubMed, Embase, Medline, and Google Scholar. Based on the literature review, low rates of health literacy are prevalent among American Indians/Alaskan Natives compared to non-Hispanic Whites in areas of healthcare system navigation, disease prevention, and lowering disease effects. Analyzing the present state of health literacy in American Indians/Alaskan Natives and finding solutions through digital health literacy provides room for equitable health opportunities.



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Contact Information

UNLV - Graduate College
Valarie Burke

External Sponsor

Department of Healthcare Administration & Policy