Collaborative Processes of Developing A Health Literacy Toolkit: A Case from Fukushima after the Nuclear Accident

Aya Goto, Alden Yuanhong Lai, Atsushi Kumagai, Saori Koizumi, Kazuki Yoshida, Koji Yamawaki, Rima E. Rudd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, the central government provided health and radiation-related information that was incomplete, difficult to understand and contradictory, leading to widespread distrust in the community. Thus, from 2013 to 2014, we developed and implemented a series of health literacy training workshops for local public health nurses, often the first health care professionals with whom members of the community interact. The results from our program evaluation revealed that the task of paraphrasing professional terms and skills related to relaying numeric information to the community were difficult for the nurses to acquire. In 2016, to further support the communication efforts of public health nurses, we developed a pocket-size “health literacy toolkit” that contained a glossary explaining radiation-related terms in plain language and an index to measure the accessibility of both text and numerical information, so that nurses could calibrate and appreciate the literacy demand of information. This case study documents an interprofessional collaborative effort for the development of the toolkit, and highlights the iterative process of building health literacy skills in health care professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-206
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Fukushima nuclear accident
  • Health literacy
  • education
  • public health nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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