health literacy

European policy for improving health literacy successful in areas of health and education

Nivel recently participated in a WHO project that inventoried the evidence on existing policies and linked activities and their effectiveness for improving health literacy at national, regional and organizational levels in the WHO European Region. Jany Rademakers co-authored this WHO Health Evidence Network Synthesis report.

Health literacy on the European agenda

People with lower health literacy are less healthy, and are less able to take good care of themselves. This is true not only in the Netherlands, but all over Europe. Around the world, health literacy is increasingly being recognised as a crucial determinant of health, and is attracting more and more attention from researchers, politicians, and health care organisations. This has emerged from a study conducted for the European Commission by the EPHORT consortium, led by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL).

Jany Rademakers has been appointed as endowed professor

On 27 August 2015, Ms Jany Rademakers, head of NIVEL research department in Utrecht, has been appointed as endowed professor ‘Health Literacy and Patient Participation’ at Maastricht University's Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML).

Laaggeletterde heeft meer kans op een slechte gezondheid

Mensen die moeite hebben met lezen en schrijven, hebben meer kans op een slechtere gezondheid dan mensen die niet ‘laaggeletterd’ zijn. Naar schatting veroorzaakt laaggeletterdheid jaarlijks 127 miljoen euro extra aan zorgkosten.

When deciding on a health care provider, patients choose the default option

Although patients appreciate having options, the majority of them opt for the default health care provider. The image of patients as selective health care consumers is not entirely consistent with reality. This has emerged from research conducted at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) by Aafke Victoor for her doctoral thesis. She received her PhD from Tilburg University on May 29.

Greater health literacy skills result in greater self-reliance

People with more limited health literacy skills feel less healthy, find self-management more challenging, exert less control over their own care, and visit their general practitioner (GP) more often than those who find it easier to understand and use information about their health. Health care professionals and policymakers should be sensitive to this, according to Iris van der Heide. Her observations are based on research conducted at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) for her doctoral thesis. She received her PhD from VU University Amsterdam on May 28.