What is the evidence on existing policies and linked activities and their effectiveness for improving health literacy at national, regional and organizational levels in the WHO European Region? (2018)

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By: Gillian Rowlands, Sian Russell,  Amy O'Donnell, Eileen Kaner, Anita Trezona, Jany Rademakers, Don Nutbeam
Health Evidence Network synthesis report 57
2018, x + 38 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5319 8
CHF 20.00
Order no. 13400195

Health literacy is gaining increasing attention as a means of promoting health. This evidence synthesis describes health literacy policies in the WHO European Region: their distribution, organizational levels, antecedents, actors, activities and outcomes, along with the factors influencing their effectiveness. Evidence was obtained by a scoping review of academic literature in English, Dutch and German and of grey literature in English, Dutch, German and Italian, supported by a Region-wide expert enquiry. Emerging findings were presented to representatives from 19 Member States of the Region to check for accuracy and omissions. The report highlights much good health literacy policy-related activity, mostly in the health and education sectors, and proposes areas for future development. Policy considerations to facilitate the sharing of good health literacy policy practice, the development of policy aims and activities across all societal areas, and the development of robust health literacy metrics to identify the need for and monitor effectiveness are presented.