Health literacy: What lessons can be learned from the experiences and policies of different countries?

Autorinnen und Autoren

Adriaenssens J., Rondia K, Van den Broucke S., Kohn L.




Health Planning Management





Adequate levels of health literacy (HL) are crucial to ensure good quality of health, social life and wellbeing. HL is a mediating factor in health disparities. Low HL hampers interaction with healthcare. HL is a shared responsibility of individuals and the healthcare system. Multi-dimensional programs and policies should be set up.


To learn from current HL policies and action plans and to identify elements to consider for the development of national HL plans.


Transversal analysis of HL policies in six countries, based on a preliminary scoping review. A combination of document analysis and key informant approach. Local experts validated and completed information for their country. A transversal comparison was performed.


Several approaches were identified, often influenced by contextual factors, healthcare reforms and existence of centers of expertise. Some governments developed full-fledged, standalone plans, while others developed broader plans covering the entire health and care sector. Some took a conceptually driven, high level approach. Others took a pragmatic approach. And some did not have a governmental plan at all.


Policy makers should analyse their state structure and health system, and search for local ‘pockets of excellence’, to develop a well-planned, substantiated HL approach for their country.

Design ohne Titel 2023 08 29T115251 927
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