Topic 4 Health literacy

Health literacy is an important aspect of health promotion and key determinant in managing diseases and improving health outcomes.

“Is linked to education and requires people's knowledge, motivation and competences to access, understand, evaluate, and apply health information to improve their quality of life”
Sørensen, 2012

Why is it important?

  • Low health literacy works as a health obstacle:

🡪 Poor health outcomes, lower adherence to the treatment, higher mortality rates

🡪 poor communication between patient and health professional

  • Patients with high health literacy are 30% less likely to be re-admitted or visit the emergency department

Adequate health literacy means being able to:

  • Access healthcare services
  • Analyze relative risks and benefits
  • Calculate medication dosages
  • Communicate with health care providers
  • Locate valid  health information