"Health Literacy is the ability to make sound health decision in the context of every day life – at home, in the community, at the workplace, the health care system, the market place and the political arena. It is a critical empowerment strategy to increase people’s control over their health, their ability to seek out information and their ability to take responsibility."
Ilona Kickbusch is committed to the development of the concept of health literacy. The goal is to place health literacy as a key form of literacy in 21st century societies and as an important investment in population health. She lectures widely on the subject and has served on several advisory boards on the subject. At present she serves on the WHO GCM/NCD Working Group on health education and health literacy for NCDs and on the advisory group for the German National Action Plan on Health Literacy, www.nap-gesundheitskompetenz.de.
She organized the CAREUM DIALOG 2017 on healht literacy for the 3 German speaking countries – see report here.
Health literacy: engaging in a political debate. editorial Int J Public Health 54 (2009) 1–2
Health Literacy: Towards active health citizenship. (with Daniela Maag) in: Sprenger, M. (ED) Public health in Österreich und Europa. Festschrift Horst Noack. Graz 2006. pp151-158
Health Literacy: addressing the health and education divide. in Health Promotion International, Vol, 16.3 (2001) pg 289-297
The significance of literacy and health literacy as crucially important determinants of health is being increasingly recognised. People with strong health literacy skills enjoy better health and well-being, whereas those with weaker skills tend to engage in riskier behaviour and have poorer health. Despite this knowledge, both remain neglected areas of public health action and research. In 2013 the WHO European Office published The Solid Facts: Health Literacy - Editors: Ilona Kickbusch, Jürgen M. Pelikan, Franklin Apfel & Agis D. Tsouros. The German version is available here.
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