Improving Health Literacy Through the Iterative Mindset Method
Health literacy represents people’s ability to access, understand, and use information to maintain good health practices. Almost nine out of 10 adults in the United States struggle to understand personal health information, resulting in higher than necessary negative health outcomes.
Improving health literacy could prevent nearly one million hospital visits and help the most vulnerable populations live longer healthier lives.
Fresh Tri’s Iterative Mindset Method™ (IMM) is a unique practice-and-tweak approach to mindset training and habit formation. IMM builds health and wellness knowledge and comprehension, leading to improved health literacy and more positive outcomes.
What is Health Literacy?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has two definitions of health literacy.
Personal health literacy is “the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.”
The CDC defines organizational health literacy as “the degree to which organizations equitably enable individuals to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.”
These definitions were updated in 2020 to emphasize people’s ability to use health information, not simply understand it, and to make well-informed decisions regarding their health.
Why Health Literacy Matters
Low health literacy is known to lead to poorer access to care and poorer health outcomes. A study from 2011 found that “differences in health literacy levels were consistently associated with increased hospitalizations, greater emergency care use, lower use of mammography, lower influenza vaccine usage, poorer ability to take medications correctly, poorer ability to interpret medication labels and health messaging, and poorer overall health status and higher mortality.”1
Health Literacy in Diabetic Patients
A 2019 analysis of 61 studies with a total of 18,905 patients, most of whom live with type 2 diabetes, found that health literacy plays a substantial role in diabetes knowledge and control.2
A different study found that higher health literacy is associated with social support, and enhanced social support facilitates better diabetes self-care and improved glycemic control.3
Fresh Tri and the IMM facilitate both increased health literacy and social support through our online community of Tri-ers.
The Iterative Mindset Method™
The Iterative Mindset Method™ (IMM) is a groundbreaking approach to long-lasting healthy habit creation and lifestyle change.
Hundreds of restrictive frameworks promise to help you make or break habits, but they rely on performance: if you do X, then Y will happen. When Y happens, you get a reward. When Y doesn’t happen, you feel like a failure. Perhaps you’ve tried a fad diet, a budget, or an exercise regimen – have you felt the disappointment of those approaches?
The IMM relies more on our natural human instincts. The three steps of IMM are already steps you incorporate into your everyday decision-making process, whether you know it or not.
First, we assess our behavior – step one.Suppose you’ve gotten lax with moving your body, so you decide to take a walk each morning. On Monday, you wake up, go to put on your activewear, but realize nothing is clean. This frustrates you, throws off your morning, and you don’t take that walk. Maybe now you’re feeling like you failed.
This is where the next step of IMM happens. Tonight, you make sure your walking clothes are washed, set out, and ready so you can take your morning walk on Tuesday. You’ve tweaked your behavior to set yourself up for finding success. That’s step two – iteration.
On Tuesday night, you once again set out your walking outfit so you can wake up and get outside on Wednesday. This is step three – practice. Practice is where we build habits; as you keep practicing, those habits strengthen.
Using IMM to Improve Health Literacy
When you download the Fresh Tri app (it’s free for everyone!), you’ll build knowledge and comprehension on building healthy habits that improve your overall wellness and gain access to a like-minded community dedicated to improved health outcomes.
The incremental progress tracked through the IMM keeps you from feeling overwhelmed or defeated. Small steps toward understanding things like diabetes management or cholesterol levels accumulate into big strides in health literacy. Improved health literacy enables you to make better decisions for your unique health situation.
Empowering Patients with IMM
The Iterative Mindset Method™ gives you the tools to improve your health literacy incrementally. With practice, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to take control of your health. IMM helps you build healthy habits tailored to your lifestyle for lasting change.
What are you waiting for? Download the Fresh Tri app and join our community on the journey toward improved well-being. The Iterative Mindset Method empowers you to make informed health decisions to live your best life.
- Berkman ND, Sheridan SL, Donahue KE, Halpern DJ, Viera A, Crotty K, Holland A, Brasure M, Lohr KN, Harden E, Tant E, Wallace I, Viswanathan M. Health literacy interventions and outcomes: an updated systematic review. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep). 2011 Mar;(199):1-941. PMID: 23126607; PMCID: PMC4781058.
- Marciano L, Camerini AL, Schulz PJ. The Role of Health Literacy in Diabetes Knowledge, Self-Care, and Glycemic Control: a Meta-analysis. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Jun;34(6):1007-1017. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-04832-y. Epub 2019 Mar 15. PMID: 30877457; PMCID: PMC6544696.
- Osborn CY, Bains SS, Egede LE. Health literacy, diabetes self-care, and glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2010 Nov;12(11):913-9. doi: 10.1089/dia.2010.0058. Epub 2010 Sep 30. PMID: 20879964; PMCID: PMC3000637.