- Subject index
Key Concepts in Public Health identifies fifty key concepts used across the discipline of public health in order to give the reader a broad perspective of the core topics relevant to training and practice. From epidemiology to health promotion, and ethics to leadership, the book offers an exciting guide to the multiprofessional field. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a broader discussion addressing the main issues and links to practice, key points relevant to the entry, case studies to illustrate the application to practice, and examples of further reading.
Chapter 15: Health Literacy: The Public Health Perspective
Health Literacy: The Public Health Perspective
Originally, literacy was considered to be the capacity to read, write and have basic numeric skills (Kickbusch, 2001; Pleasant and Kuruvilla, 2008). It has now been established that literacy is much more than that: it involves culture, individual empowerment and community development. The current literature recognises that there are two forms of [Page 79]literacy: general literacy and health literacy. The definition proposed by the WHO (World Health Organization, 1998) and popularised by Nutbeam (1998) reflected this broad view of literacy:
Health literacy represents the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health.