Report: Health Literacy – Improving Health, Health Systems, and Health Policy Around the World – Workshop Summary
July 12, 2013
IOM: Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice
“From the first use of the term health literacy in 1974 – described as “health education meeting minimal standards for all school grade levels” – the definition of health literacy has evolved into a common idea that involves both the need for people to understand information that helps them maintain good health and the need for health systems to reduce their complexity. Since the 1990s, health literacy has taken two different approaches; one oriented to clinical care and the other to public health. The public health approach is more prominent in developing nations, where organizations not only work to improve health for large groups of people but also provide educational opportunities. There are many opportunities for international research collaboration between the United States, European countries, and developing nations.
“In September 2012, the IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy hosted a workshop focused on international health literacy efforts. The workshop featured presentations and discussions about health literacy interventions from various countries as well as other topics related to international health literacy. This document summarizes the workshop.”