Next Article in Journal
Adsorption Behavior and Relative Distribution of Cd2+ Adsorption Mechanisms by the Magnetic and Nonmagnetic Biochars Derived from Chicken Manure
Next Article in Special Issue
The Relationship between Health Literacy, Quality of Life, and Subjective Health: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Region in Germany
Previous Article in Journal
Mobile Dental Delivery System: An Effective Protocol for Hygiene and Disinfection
Previous Article in Special Issue
Online Survey for the Assessment of Generic Health Literacy among Adolescents in Germany (GeKoJu): Study Protocol
Article

Health Literacy: From a Property of Individuals to One of Communities

by 1,* and 1,2
1
École des hautes études en sante publique (EHESP), 35043 Rennes, France
2
Laboratory Arènes (UMR CNRS 6051), 35700 Rennes, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1601; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051601
Received: 17 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 2 March 2020
Health literacy (HL) is increasingly hailed as a strategy to improve the control individuals have over their health. A central critic of HL intervention is its overemphasis on individual level factors, something recognised in the 2008 report of the Commission of Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) that recommended expanding the scope of HL to cover the SDoH. The objective of our study was to assess the extent to which recent progress on HL captures the need for collective action on the SDoH. We conducted a scoping review on PubMed looking for review papers published between 2013–2018 in English and French. Definitions of HL were analysed against two main dimensions (i.e., locus of change of HL strategies and foreseen outcome of HL improvements). Despite a number of authors calling for more research on HL interventions at the community level and an expansion of the definition to cover the SDoH, we found that the recommendation of the Commission has yet to be implemented. Even when the definitions include the capacities of individuals on distal determinants, both the locus of change and outcomes of HL improvement do not go beyond intra individual factors (knowledge, skills, etc.). It is noteworthy that communities were either framed as a setting outside of health care services or as an aggregate of individuals. We found no instance of HL intervention regarding communities as complex systems of actors sharing a common space and dynamic. We conclude by suggesting a new definition of HL and by drawing attention to the research gap in addressing the upstream SDoH through HL actions. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; social determinants of health; empowerment; community health health literacy; social determinants of health; empowerment; community health
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Kendir, C.; Breton, E. Health Literacy: From a Property of Individuals to One of Communities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1601. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051601

AMA Style

Kendir C, Breton E. Health Literacy: From a Property of Individuals to One of Communities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(5):1601. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051601

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kendir, Candan, and Eric Breton. 2020. "Health Literacy: From a Property of Individuals to One of Communities" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 5: 1601. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051601

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop