Moving towards a Comprehensive Approach for Health Literacy Interventions: The Development of a Health Literacy Intervention Model

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Low health literacy (HL) is associated with many negative health outcomes, and is a major challenge in public health and healthcare. Interventions to improve outcomes associated with HL are needed. In this paper, we aim to develop a comprehensive HL intervention model. We used a multimethod approach, consisting of (1) a literature review of articles listed in MEDLINE, presenting HL intervention models, (2) online consultation of international HL experts, and (3) two consensus meetings with members (n = 36 and 27) of a consortium studying HL among older adults (50+) in Europe. In our literature review, we identified twenty-two HL models, only a few of which focused explicitly on interventions. Sixty-eight health literacy experts took part in the online survey. The results from all three methods came together in a comprehensive HL intervention model. This model conceptualized interventions as potentially targeting five factors affecting HL outcomes: (1) individuals’ personal characteristics, (2) individuals’ social context, (3) communication between individuals and health professionals, (4) health professionals’ HL capacities, and (5) health systems. Our model is the first comprehensive HL model focused specifically on interventions. The model can support the further development of HL interventions to improve the health outcomes of people with low HL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1268
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15-Jun-2018

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