health literacy: understandable information for all user groups

Dear health literacy community,

We want to share a comment on health literacy from the HLCA coordinator Ullrich Bauer, which he provided for the AOK practice journal: Health and Society (Gesundheit und Gesellschaft):

“Health literacy has the potential to provide new perspectives for rethinking the future of health care, in particular and above all, this applies to patient representatives and patient advocacy as well as self-help organisations. We are specifically talking about certain challenges in relation to health literacy that might have not been fully understood by everybody and on all levels yet. Health literacy does not mean to shift the responsibility for good or ill-health to the individual, but, moreover, health literacy is the key for a transparent, user-friendly, and responsive health care system, which is able to provide reliable and easy to understand health information and communicate them with all user groups. In turn, such an approach towards the understanding of the role of health literacy in this context is a decisive step to change the game, especially for the field of self-help. The incapacitation of patients within the health care system commonly goes along with higher expectancy for changes in individual health behaviour. Having said this, health literacy means that health information should be provided shaped to the needs of the target population, yet decisions are meant to be taken autonomously.”
Prof.Dr. Ullrich Bauer, Faculty of Educational Science, University of Bielefeld, Germany

Journal Health and Society: http://aok-bv.de/hintergrund/gesundheit_und_gesellschaft/