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:

Summer School on Health Literacy: Researchers and young scientists from all over the world in Bielefeld

From the 18th to 22th of September 2017 the 2nd HLCA-Summer School on Health Literacy: Research, Policy and Advocacy took place at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) at the University of Bielefeld in Germany.
Young researchers from around the world and renowned international researchers from the Topic Health Literacy came together for working on Health Literacy.

© Orkan Okan, University of Bielefeld

Directed by Dr. Kristine Sørensen (The Netherlands), Prof. Dr. Diane Levin-Zamir (Israel) and Prof. Dr. Luis Saboga-Nunes (Portugal) 37 students from 14 countries found their way to Bielefeld.
– research planning and possible research methods,
– the potential and challenges of health literacy with regard to children and adolescents,
– the consideration of specific cases in clinical contexts and
– the participation of patients and other vulnerable groups in the research process have been discussed.
Afterwards, the young scientists have developed exciting and relevant research projects and presented and discussed them in the plenum.

© Orkan Okan, University of Bielefeld
Further, the practical work of policy-makers was assessed by analyzing and evaluating political action plans on health literacy and other political documents. At the end of the week, necessary soft skills for health literacy experts were tested with the experienced health and health literacy expert Barbara Kondilis from Hellenic University in Greece.
In addition, Prof. Dr. Peter Goldblatt from the Institute of Health Equity at University College London (UK) on Health Equality and Justice related to Health Literacy.
As President of the EUPHA – Health Promotion Section, Luis Saboga-Nunes gave input into the field of health promotion, prevention of tobacco consumption and evidence-based insights into salutogenesis. Stefanie Harsch (Germany) presented first research results from a Health Literacy Study in Afganistan.
Kristine Sørensen has held the closing presentation on health competences and closed with Prof. Dr. Ullrich BauerDr. Paulo Pinheiro and Orkan Okan the 2. Health Literacy Summer School 2017.
According to the young scientists, the international atmosphere and group dynamics were outstanding. The flat hierarchy between teachers and students had also been decisive. As a very enriching participant, the participants have taken note of the controversies with health literacy projects taking place all over the world and, above all, highlighted the possibility of dealing with the research methods.

© Orkan Okan, University of Bielefeld