Health literacy in an age of technology – schoolchildren’s experiences and ideas

Promoting schoolchildren`s health literacy. Link zum Artikel.

The aim of this paper was to explore opportunities to promote schoolchildren’s health literacy based on their own experiences and ideas. Research suggests the necessity for health literacy to be included into the school curriculum, and to view health promotion as part of lifelong learning. There is also a need to involve schoolchildren in developing health literacy so they can find strategies to improve their health. However, there is limited research on the best practices of health literacy, based on the schoolchildren’s own experiences and ideas. In this article, a secondary analysis of the data from two previous studies was performed. In total, 540 schoolchildren aged 10–15 from the northern regions of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia participated by sharing their experiences in written reflections or by completing an open question in a survey. Two questions were posed to gather the data in the secondary analysis: ‘What signifies the schoolchildren’s experiences of health and well-being?’ and ‘What are the strategies to promote health and well-being suggested by the schoolchildren?’ The results show that people and interactive technology support schoolchildren’s health literacy. The schoolchildren highlighted the importance of being cared for, confirmed by and connected to others. They also stressed the importance of being in an environment that enabled them to participate and thus be engaged, which made them empowered to take care of their own health and well-being. In addition, they identified empowering aspects of technology as a tool in health promotion that created health opportunities for the schoolchildren.