Topic 3 Health Literacy


A shared function of Individual and Social factors


“A person’s ability to understand and act on health information” The degree to which individuals have the capacity to: Find, communicate, evaluate, understand and use health information to make decisions regarding health


“The skills that people need to be able to navigate, and function effectively within, the healthcare environment”

  • Health Literacy is of concern to everyone involved in Health Promotion, disease prevention and early screening, health care and maintenance, and policy making.
  • Health Literacy skills are needed for dialogue and discussion, reading health information, interpreting charts, making decisions about participating in research studies and using medical tools for personal or familial health care – such as a peak flow meter or thermometer – calculating timing or dosage of medicine, or voting on health or environmental issues.

Source: Pexels

  • Low Health Literacy levels are associated with poorer health outcomes and poorer use of health resources, especially regarding chronic conditions. People with low Health Literacy are not uncommon but they can be part of a hidden population. Many people will not admit that they struggle with Health Literacy problems for fear of stigma, being thought stupid or in case it will have a detrimental effect on their relationship with healthcare professionals. Health Communication could be used to improve Health Literacy.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Source: Unknown, licenced under CC BY