Development and testing of a framework for analysing health literacy in public policy documents
journal contributionposted on 2018-12-01, 00:00 authored by Anita TrezonaAnita Trezona, Sarity Dodson, Paulina Mech, Richard Osborne
Health literacy is a driver of community empowerment and a key determinant of health and equity. The World Health Organisation has established a strong global mandate for addressing health literacy through public policy action, by positioning it as one of three key pillars for achieving sustainable development and health equity in the Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion. Policy document analysis is a useful way of determining the strengths and limitations of past and current policies, as well as the likely success of their implementation and impact on health outcomes. In this study, we developed a framework for analysing policy documents to assess the extent to which they prioritise and operationalise an emergent public health issue, in this case health literacy. Specifically, the framework enables a systematic exploration of (i) the stated policy goals and strategic objectives; (ii) the stated policy actions; and (iii) whether there is an intention to resource and monitor the stated policy activities. We tested the utility of the framework by applying it to a set of public policies in the Australian context. The framework presented in this study may be a useful tool for systematically analysing policy documents to reveal their strengths and limitations, and the extent to which they prioritise and operationalise health literacy.