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Center for Health Literacy Promotion Blog

Quick Notes from the Global Public Health Challenge-Day 1

The WUN health literacy network members agreed on this core definition of health literacy: the skills to obtain, understand and use information for health. It was further agreed that health literacy and skills required to be health literate are context specific.

CHLPs action research on promoting maternal health literacy was presented as an example of participatory research that can uniquely help us understand health literacy and plan interventions by identifying and describing the context and factors surrounding health literacy

Discussions on the concept of health literacy led to an outline of reporting standards for health literacy research to help increase the quality and usefulness of the evidence. I was invited and readily agreed to co-author a paper on the proposed standards. International collaboration has begun!

A European health literacy expert who completed a review of measures of health literacy found all measures inadequate. Each addresses only a single element of health literacy. This finding echoes that of recent reviews commissioned by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Health literacy expert says it is necessary for healthcare systems to reorient to people's practical concerns.

WUN health literacy network leader Don Nutbeam urged members to keep asking how to improve the health of the poorest fastest. The answers are to be found by working directly with them.

Health literacy is now included in formal evaluations of patients' experience in England's National Health Service

Training physicians to ask patients reflective questions instead of using a " tick list" was recommended in discussions on integrating health literacy into medical school curricula.

Measures of health literacy need to help practitioners think deeply about how to engage with a person who is challenged, says health literacy expert.

World Health Organization representative attending the World Wide Universities Health Literacy meeting invited the group to propose strategies and actions for global health literacy promotion.

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