Publicatie datum

Regular workshop: Health literacy in Europe: from measurement to targeted interventions.

Maindal, H.T., Rademakers, J. Regular workshop: Health literacy in Europe: from measurement to targeted interventions. European Journal of Public Health: 2015, 25(spl. 3) 44. Abstract: 8th European Public Health Conference: "Health in Europe - from global to local policies, methods and practices". 14-17 oktober 2015 in Milan.
Health literacy is increasingly being recognised as a crucial `determinant of health and health inequality all over the world. Health literacy enables people to make judgements and take decisions in everyday life concerning healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion to maintain or improve their quality of life as their lives progress (So¨rensen et al., 2012). Most research on health literacy has been conducted outside Europe, predominantly in the United States. Recently, however, the topic is on the public health and research agenda in Europe as well. First studies have focused on the development and validation of measurement instruments. The international comparative HLS-EU study, which was conducted between 2009 and 2012, provided insight in the level of health literacy in eight European countries. Since then, more European countries started to measure the levels of health literacy in their populations. Recent instruments, such as the Health literacy Questionnaire (HLQ), conceptualize health literacy as multidimensional, adding psychological and social domains to the mere functional aspects. The HLQ also highlights the responsibility that practitioners and organisations have in the generate health literacy-responsive environments. These new ways of looking at health literacy allows for more possibilities to generate and tailor interventions to the needs of specific target groups and the population as a whole. Recent studies focus on effective ways to develop and implement health literacy interventions. In this workshop, an overview with respect to health literacy policy and interventions in EU Member States will be followed by presentations of studies in several countries. From these studies, the process from measuring health literacy to intervention development is explained through current projects in the field.

Key messages
Many European countries are active in developing policies and actions on health literacy. However, few interventions are guided by evidence and evaluation research is generally lacking. Including different dimensions in the measurement of health literacy, including organizational responsiveness, will ensure appropriately tailored interventions that generate
equitable outcomes