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Essay about Impact of Health Literacy on Health

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Health literacy is defined as "The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions" (Michael K. Paasche-Orlow, 2010), the word Health literacy first appeared in 1974 in a paper which calls for “education standards for all grade school levels in USA” (Carolyn Speros, 2004) . Some recent works suggest that there is a relation between literacy, low health and premature deaths (Christina Zarcadoolas et al, 2005).
Awareness on Health literacy
The concept of health literacy was first originated in early years and it was recognised as an autonomous research field in 1990s (Andrew pleasant and Shyama Kuruvilla, 2008). The awareness on the health and the literacy is frequently raising, and several governments are implementing various national programmes to raise literacy levels and health standards. The government and some organisations are implementing health awareness programmes in the community, and they promote them through media social marketing through printed materials. However, people who can read pamphlets and printed text can only know the information in it. So accessibility to health information is a key factor among every individual in community, which can be achieved by health literacy (Heather and Lisa Langille, 2006).
There are so many countries having low literacy rates. Heather and Lisa Langille (2006) stated that literacy is the essential basic for health literacy and individual’s life reflects the relationship with health and literacy. WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health recognised that, literacy as having a key role in deciding health inequalities in both developed and undeveloped count...


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...h literacies: public health and clinical approaches to health literacy', Health Promotion International, 23 (2), pp. 152-159.
4. Heather, E. and Lisa, L. (2006) 'Building Knowledge in Literacy and Health', Canadian Journal of Public Health, 97, p. s31.
5. Nutbeam, D. (2008) 'The evolving concept of health literacy', social science and medicine, 67 (12), pp. 2072-2078
6. Speros, C. (2004) 'Health literacy: concept analysis', Journal of Advanced Nursing, 50 (6), pp. 633–640.
7. Egbert, N. and Nanna, KM. (2009) 'Health literacy: challenges and strategies', Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 14 (3).
8. Michael K. Paasche-Orlow, et al. (2005) 'The Prevalence of Limited Health Literacy', Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20 (2), pp. 175-184.
9. Tanya, L. and Al-Assaf (2006) 'Health Literacy: Impact on older adults', American Academy of Medical Administrators.


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