According to Sørensen et al. (2012), “Health literacy is in our understanding … for improving people’s empowerment within the domains of healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion.”
“Health literacy … influences health behavior and the use of health services, and thereby will also impact on health outcomes and on the health costs in society. At an individual level, ineffective communication due to poor health literacy will result in errors, poor quality, and risks to patient safety of the healthcare services. At a population level, health literate persons are able to participate in the ongoing public and private dialogues about health, medicine, scientific knowledge and cultural beliefs. Thus, the benefits of health literacy impact the full range of life’s activities–home, work, society and culture. Advancing health literacy will progressively allow for greater autonomy and personal empowerment, and the process of health literacy can be seen as a part of an individual’s development towards improved quality of life. In the population, it may also lead to more equity and sustainability of changes in public health” (Sørensen et al., 2012).
Good stuff, right? To read the full article, click the link in the reference below.
Sørensen, K., Van den Broucke, S., Fullam, J., Doyle, G., Pelikan, J., Slonska, Z., & Brand, H. (2012). Health literacy and public health: a systematic review and integration of definitions and models. BMC Public Health, 12(80). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-80. Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/80