Date of Completion


Document Type

Campus Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Faculty Advisor

Priscilla Gazarian, PHD, CNS, RN

Site Advisor

Irena Tatom, LPC-MHSP


Description of the Problem: In the United States adolescent patients are at a high risk of not receiving adequate health literacy teaching and generally lack health literacy knowledge. Adolescents that are not educated on their health and their role as a patient, tend to make poor health choices and have difficulty navigating the health system in later years.

Available knowledge: A review of the available literature reveals that health literacy education interaction with adolescent patients can be impactful and long-lasting. Provider and patient engagement have been shown to correlate with improved understanding and management of diagnoses and medications into adulthood, and thereby can have a tangible and influential role in encouraging behaviors associated with adherence to prescribed treatments.

Aim and Objectives: The aim of this project was to improve the health literacy knowledge of adolescents at a residential treatment facility. This was achieved through the implementation of a health literacy education program to improve understanding and general health literateness among adolescent participants. The objectives addressed were foundational health literacy education needs, empowering adolescents to feel confident engaging in their care, and addressing issues with medication adherence.

Intervention: This project was to develop and implement a health literacy education program that could increase adolescent baseline knowledge of key health literacy concepts and subsequently improve their ability to navigate the healthcare system and affect their health outcomes.

Results: The results of this project revealed that following the completion of a health literacy education program that adolescents showed an increase in health literacy knowledge, reported overall health literacy confidence, and improved medication treatment adherence.

Conclusion: The findings of this project support the efficacy of a dedicated health literacy education program integrated into the facility’s curriculum. As well as the need for ongoing investigation into the lasting effects of adolescent health literacy teaching.


Open access to this Campus Access Capstone is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.