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Health literacy in primary health care

journal contribution
posted on 2007-08-01, 00:00 authored by H Keleher, Virginia HaggerVirginia Hagger
Health literacy is fundamental if people are to successfully manage their own health. This requires a range of skills and knowledge about health and health care, including finding, understanding, interpreting and communicating health information, seeking of appropriate care and making critical health decisions. A primary health system that is appropriate and universally accessible requires an active agenda based on research of approaches to address low health literacy, while health care providers should be alert to the widespread problems of health literacy which span all age levels. This article reviews the progress made in Australia on health literacy in primary health care since health literacy was included in Australia's health goals and targets in the mid-1990s. A database search of published literature was conducted to identify existing examples of health literacy programs in Australia. Considerable work has been done on mental health literacy, and research into chronic disease self-management with CALD communities, which includes health literacy, is under way. However, the lack of breadth in research has led to a knowledge base that is patchy. The few Australian studies located on health literacy research together with the data about general literacy in Australia suggests the need for much more work to be done to increase our knowledge base about health literacy, in order to develop appropriate resources and tools to manage low health literacy in primary health settings.

History

Journal

Australian journal of primary health

Volume

13

Pagination

24-30

Location

Clayton, Vic

ISSN

1448-7527

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, CSIRO

Issue

2

Publisher

CSIRO

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