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Concerns and future challenges of health literacy in the Nordic countries - From the point of view of health promotion practitioners and researchers
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Health, Karlskrona, Sweden.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3787-1040
Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.
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2018 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 46, no 20_suppl, p. 107-117Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Health literacy is an essential social determinant for promoting and maintaining the health of a population. Aim: From a health promotion perspective, explore health literacy issues, concerns and future challenges among Nordic practitioners and researchers. Methods: Data were collected in a workshop at the 8th Nordic Health Promotion Conference, and in a literature review, with articles from five databases. The search included title and abstract with the search terms health literacy* and health literacy as a MeSH term and all the Nordic countries. Qualitative and quantitative analysis were used. Results: Twenty-five persons participated in the workshop. The discussions were summarized in six themes: concept of health literacy in national language; risk of victim blaming; measuring health literacy; content in school curricula on health literacy; new technologies for information and communication; communication and collaboration between different actors in support of health. Forty-three articles on health literacy were identified, mainly conducted within three fields: development, test and adaptation of instruments for measuring health literacy; measurement of health literacy among patients, or other defined target groups and on populations; and developing and evaluating methods/tools for the training of personnel groups or different target groups. Conclusions: There is a need for further studies providing a more in-depth understanding of the health literacy concept, knowledge on how to measure health literacy, ethical aspects, application in intersectoral collaboration as well as the adaptation to new technologies for information and communication in education supporting health literacy. As health literacy is an essential social health determinant, a concern and a future challenge must be, to make the health literacy concept familiar and visible in health promotion policies, research and practice such as health education. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications Ltd , 2018. Vol. 46, no 20_suppl, p. 107-117
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Health Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-38917DOI: 10.1177/1403494817743903ISI: 000428758300016Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044107460OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-38917DiVA, id: diva2:1195552
Available from: 2018-04-05 Created: 2018-04-05 Last updated: 2018-04-18Bibliographically approved

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