Health Literacy in Context - Settings, Media and Populations

Guest editors: Prof.Dr. Don Nutbeam, Prof.Dr. Diane Levin-Zamir and Prof. Dr Gill Rowlands

Health literacy has been defined and conceptualised in multiple ways, but almost all definitions have the same core elements describing the skills that enable individuals to obtain, understand and use information to make decisions - and take actions - that will have an impact on their health. These health literacy skills can be applied to the full range of determinants of health (personal, social and environmental). Previous research has established that these skills and abilities are mediated by environmental demands and situational complexities. We encourage submission of papers that report on:

  • the relationships between physical and scoical environments, and health literacy
  • interventions to reduce environmental demands and complexity, including, for example, interventions to reduce the organisational and administrative complexity of health services
  • health literacy interventions that are responsvie to cultural preferences
  • health literacy interventions using the prefered media of disengaged populations.

For further reading, please follow the link to the Special Issue Website. Abstract deadline 30 April 2018

Self Care Week

Self Care Conference, September 2017, Imperial College, London

Our very own Mike Oliver, who is championing work on health literacy in Stoke-on-Trent, presented at this year's conference:

I attended the 19th Annual Self Care Conference: “Self Care for Life” organised by the Self Care Forum on 26th September.  The Self Care Forum define Self Care as: “The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.”  Clearly there a strong links with health literacy. I really like the concept of the Self Care Continuum (see picture below) as it recognises that the day to day choices we make (with the support of others) when we are lucky to be relatively healthy are as applicable to self care as those actions we need to take when we are living with long-term conditions.  I think that Health Literacy underpins the whole Self Care Continuum.   The information we receive and try to act on from health and wellbeing providers is vital in lifestyle choices as it is in living with long-term conditions or when we are receiving care in hospital .  The presentation I gave at the conference was to share a project we are establishing in Stoke-on-Trent to help organisations become “Health Literacy Friendly”.  This aims to help organisations change the way they interact with their service users, patients or customers – from the physical layout when they arrive, the signage, written communication (posters, leaflets, forms, online information), the way employees or volunteers interact with the public and the policies that underpin the way the organisations operate.  In a very collaborative way, we will be helping organisations become more health literacy friendly through this scheme with has a framework of bronze, silver and gold awards.  If anyone wants to find out more about becoming a Health Literacy Friendly organisation, they can contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.