Lots of resources about different aspects of health literacy are available on the internet and in printed format. Below you will find a selection, which you can filter, of the most relevant links, documents and reports available on health literacy in the world. These resources are used as sources for the research work of the project. 

Health at a Glance Europe 2012

The OECD and European Commission Report “Health at a Glance: Europe” presents the most recent comparable data for selected indicators of health and health systems in 35 European countries up to 2010. The selection of indicators has been based on the European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a list of indicators that has been developed by the European Commission to guide the development and reporting of health statistics. In addition, the publication provides detailed information on health expenditure and financing trends, using results from the OECD, Eurostat and WHO annual joint health accounts questionnaire.


WHO Solid Facts on Health Literacy

The WHO Solid Facts series was launched 15 years ago as an accessible source of intelligence on important and promising public health topics deemed worthy of more policy attention and action. It has two purposes. First, it aims to distil the best available evidence on these topics based on often-complex scientific studies and reviews. Second, it identifies policy implications and action points that could convert these ideas into realities.


WHO European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services

The European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services proposes a revised set of ten horizontal European Public Health Operations for the European region, including the core public health services within each one of them. The Action Plan aims to become the unifying and guiding basis for any European health authority to set up, monitor and evaluate policies, strategies and actions for reforms and improvement in public health. It puts forward specific actions and measures to move towards attainment of the objectives along ten major avenues that European Member States and the Regional Office and its international partners intend to follow in order to strengthen public health capacities and services.


America's Health Literacy: Why We Need Accessible Health Information

This issue brief summarizes key findings and presents some policy implications of the first ever National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) conducted in the U.S..

Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion

Health Literacy: Prescription to End Confusion examines the body of knowledge that applies to the field of health literacy, and recommends actions to promote a health literate society. By examining the extent of limited health literacy and the ways to improve it, we can improve the health of individuals and populations.


The Lancet Report: Ageing in the European Union

The ageing of European populations presents health, long-term care, and welfare systems with new challenges. Although reports of ageing as a fundamental threat to the welfare state seem exaggerated, societies have to embrace various policy options to improve the robustness of health, long-term care, and welfare systems in Europe and to help people to stay healthy and active in old age. These policy options include prevention and health promotion, better selfcare, increased coordination of care, improved management of hospital admissions and discharges, improved systems of long-term care, and new work and pension arrangements. Ageing of the health workforce is another challenge, and policies will need to be pursued that meet the particular needs of older workers (ie, those aged 50 years or older) while recruiting young practitioners.



Navigating Health: the Role of Health Literacy

This report echoes the conclusions of the Healthy Choices Forum presented in the Gastein Health Declaration 2005. It is a Call to Action to policymakers to make health literacy a central pillar in health policy discussions, research and action at a European, national and local level.



The Health Literacy Skills Framework

This article introduces the Health Literacy Skills conceptual framework. The Health Literacy Skills framework hypothesizes the relations between health literacy and health-related outcomes and depicts how health literacy functions at the level of the individual. The framework also reflects how factors external to the individual (e.g., family, setting, community, culture, and media) influence the constructs and relations represented in the framework. The framework is organized into 4 primary components: (a) factors that influence the development and use of health literacy skills; (b) health-related stimuli; (c) health literacy skills needed to comprehend the stimulus and perform the task; and (d) mediators between health literacy and health outcomes.. The Health Literacy Skills framework could also be used to guide the development of interventions to improve health literacy.



Health literacy and public health: A systematic review and integration of definitions and models

Health literacy concerns the knowledge and competences of persons to meet the complex demands of health in modern society. Although its importance is increasingly recognised, there is no consensus about the definition of health literacy or about its conceptual dimensions, which limits the possibilities for measurement and comparison. The aim of the study is to review definitions and models on health literacy to develop an integrated definition and conceptual model capturing the most comprehensive evidence-based dimensions of health literacy.



Health Literacy Interventions and Outcomes: An Updated Systematic Review

The document provides a comprehensive overview on health literacy interventions and their outcomes in the United States. The document aims to expand the understanding of the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes in several ways. First, a majority of studies included in this review performed multivariate analysis, allowing to make better estimates of the true effect of health literacy on health outcomes. Second, new studies have addressed the relationship between numeracy level and health outcomes. This allows a better understanding of what it means to be health literate. Third, a limited body of research begins to identify variables that may be on a causal pathway between health literacy and health outcomes. These variables include knowledge, self-efficacy, and social stigma. Finally, new studies suggest that health literacy can be a mediator of racial disparities in health outcomes.



The Health Literacy & Plain Language - Resource Guide

The Resource Guide is an important tool to help educate the health care industry about health literacy as a growing public health issue, and one, that if left unmanaged, will continue to affect health outcomes, costs, and most importantly, consumer health.



Proceedings of the Surgeon General's Workshop on Improving Health Literacy

This report summarizes presentations on the state of the science as of 2006 in the field of health literacy from a variety of perspectives, including those of health care organizations and providers, the research community, and educators.



The Health Literacy of America's Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy

The Health Literacy of America's Adults is the first release of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) health literacy results. The results are based on assessment tasks designed specifically to measure the health literacy of adults living in the United States.



Improving Health Literacy for Older Adults – Expert Panel Report 2009

This report summarizes the presentations and discussions of an expert panel convened by CDC to address concerns about the barriers for older adults to understand and use health information and to identify opportunities for health professionals to better meet the health communication needs of older adults.


National Health Education Standards

The National Health Education Standards (NHES) are written expectations for what students should know and be able to do by grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to promote personal, family, and community health. The standards provide a framework for curriculum development and selection, instruction, and student assessment in health education.


Urban Health Centres 2.0 for integrated health and social care pathways for active and healthy ageing in European cities

Urban Health Centres 2.0 promote innovative integrated health and social care pathways, early detection of frailty, management of polypharmacy and prevention of falls for active and healthy ageing in European cities. The general objective is to develop, implement, and evaluate the Urban Health Centres in 5 varied European cities that will act as pilot site, in order to produce and disseminate a transferable and easily implementable model for the innovative Urban Health Centres.


Comparative Report on Health Literacy in Eight EU Member States

The European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU) was conducted during the summer of 2011 across eight European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia), Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. In each country, a random sample of approximately 1000 EU-citizens, 15 years and older was interviewed yielding a total sample of approximately 8000 respondents.



Ireland, MSD/NALA Health Literacy Initiative

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) is an independent member-based organisation committed to making sure people with literacy and numeracy difficulties can fully take part in society and have access to learning opportunities that meet their needs while MSD is a global healthcare leader The MSD/NALA Health Literacy Initiative is a partnership between MSD and the NALA that aims to increase awareness about the issue of health literacy in Ireland.

EuroHealthNet's healthy ageing website

The healthyageing.eu website builds awareness of the steps required to make healthy ageing a reality by showcasing practical examples of health promotion interventions, identifying initiatives in the European Union and making available key resources about healthy ageing.


United Kingdom Health Literacy Group

Funded by the Department of Health (England) and the Department for Innovations, Universities and Skills (England), the Health Literacy Group is a special interest group of the Society for Academic Primary Care. Their focus is on building the evidence base for Health Literacy and its impact on people and their lives, and in supporting national policy to reduce inequalities.

U.S. National Health Information Center

The National Health Information Center (NHIC) is a health information referral service. NHIC links people to organizations that provide reliable health information. NHIC was established in 1979 by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Office of Public Health and Science, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NHIC also provides key support for the healthfinder.gov Web site, your gateway to reliable consumer health information.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. Among other initiatives, it offers Effective Communication Tools for Healthcare Professionals which is a free, on-line, go-at-your-own-pace training that has helped more than 4,000 health care professionals and students improve patient-provider communication.


healthfinder.gov is a US government Web site where you will find information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy. It has resources on a wide range of health topics selected from approximately 1,400 government and non-profit organizations to bring the best, most reliable health information on the Internet. More precisely, the Quick Guide to Healthy Living offers information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy. 

U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines provides useful evidence-based information on conditions and treatments. More particularly, it offers answers to ten important questions one should consider when looking for health information online.

U.S. National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is one of 11 agencies that compose the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its website provides useful information on the various types of cancers.



U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) provides key information on health literacy and has pulled together key tools, research and reports, and resources for public health and health communication professionals in order to improve health communication and promote the use of health technologies as a way to promote individual and population health. In this framework, they offer a how-to guide for creating health Web sites and Web content.

U.S. National Institutes of Health

Part of the NIH mission is to reach all Americans with health information they can use, and to communicate in a way that helps people to easily understand research results. To do so, they have launched an initiative on “Clear Communication” initiative that focuses on achieving two key objectives of health literacy:

  • Providing information in the form and with the content that is accessible to specific audiences based on cultural competence, and
  • Incorporating plain language approaches and new technologies.

US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has prepared brief, easy-to-understand advice columns for consumers to help navigate the health care system. They will address important issues such as how to recognize high-quality health care, how to be an informed health care consumer, and how to choose a hospital, doctor, and health plan.

U.S. Institute of Medicines – Roundtable on Health Literacy

The mission of the Roundtable is to advance the field of health literacy by translating research findings into practical strategies that can be implemented. To achieve this mission, the Roundtable discusses challenges facing health literacy practice and research, and identifies approaches to promote health literacy in the public and private sectors. It offers on its website a wide range of documents of health literacy.

U.S. Partners in Information Access for the Public Healh Workforce Search

This pre-populated search allows to see the latest research on health literacy indexed by the National Library of Medicine.



Canada Center for Literacy

The Centre for Literacy is a centre of expertise that supports best practices and informed policy development in literacy and essential skills by creating bridges between research, policy and practice. To do so, they organise learning events (including institutes and workshops), action research projects and publications, and also through a library services and website.



Canadian Public Health Association Health Literacy Portal

This Internet portal is designed to provide easy access to key information about health literacy in Canada for health professionals, researchers and interested individuals. It features the Expert Panel on Health Literacy’s final report as well as links to other key Canadian and international health literacy resources.



CSR Europe: Blueprint for Business Action on Health Literacy

The Blueprint for Business Action on Health Literacy is a free toolbox accessible to all companies aiming to strengthen the health literacy of employees. Besides concrete best-practice examples it provides additional elements for companies to become champions in health at workplace.


New Zealand Workbase on Health Literacy

Workbase is New Zealand’s most experienced provider of literacy, numeracy and communication support for organisations and adults. They have developed this website to support health professionals, managers and policy makers by providing comprehensive free information about health literacy, and easy access to resources and expertise.

Health Literacy: Skills for living

The first half of 2013 will witness the Council and Parliament finalising the Commission's new proposals for updating the directive on information to patients on medicines. The new regime will aim to tackle almost half of Europe's patients, who are 'health illiterates'.EurActiv compiled a whole dossier on health literacy including links to relevant documents.  


European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU) Video

This animated infographic shows the main outcome of the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU), which formed part of the European Health Literacy Project from 2009-2012. 


Hello Brain Campaign: Will I lose my memory when I get old?

Will I lose my memory when I get old? Watch the first video of the Hello Brain campaign led by the ASAPS project. The objective is to show that cognitive decline is not inevitable, keeping your brain active help keeping it healthy.


Subscribe to our newsletter


Print this page Bookmark and Share