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Health & Science Literacy

What is the meaning of health literacy?

 A systematic review and qualitative synthesis

This systematic review was performed to clarify what is health literacy, which is a central topic for this monthly theme. In this review of 34 articles (11 reviews; 21 original studies), identified and synthesized definitions and research surrounding health literacy to come up with a common health literacy definition and describe the elements of health literacy.

As such, health literacy is defined as “the ability of an individual to obtain and translate knowledge and information in order to maintain and improve health in a way that is appropriate to the individual and system contexts”. Elements of health literacy include “(1) knowledge of health, healthcare and health systems; (2) processing and using information in various formats in relation to health and healthcare; and (3) ability to maintain health through self-management and working in partnerships with health providers.”

Liu, C., Wang, D., Liu, C., Jiang, J., Wang, X., Chen, H., … & Zhang, X. (2020). What is the meaning of health literacy? A systematic review and qualitative synthesis. Family medicine and community health, 8(2).