A1 Journal article (refereed)
Addressing health literacy in schools in the WHO European Region (2019)

Paakkari, L., Inchley, J., Schulz, A., Weber, M. W., & Okan, O. (2019). Addressing health literacy in schools in the WHO European Region. Public Health Panorama, 5(2-3), 186-189. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/327055/php-5-2-3-186-190-eng.pdf

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Paakkari, Leena; Inchley, Jo; Schulz, Anette; Weber, Martin W.; Okan, Orkan

Journal or series: Public Health Panorama

eISSN: 2412-544X

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 5

Issue number: 2-3

Pages range: 186-189

Publisher: WHO Regional Office for Europe

Publication country: Denmark

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/327055/php-5-2-3-186-190-eng.pdf

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65544


Health literacy is a key determinant of health (1). Several studies have reported a positive association between high levels of health literacy and better health outcomes in children (2-4). For example, the WHO collaborative Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey found that health literacy is one of the main factors contributing to health differences and is associated with educational outcomes such as academic achievement and post-school aspirations (4). Health literacy is a useful phenomenon in the understanding and reduction of avoidable health disparities because it can be learned and developed (4–6). However, children’s health literacy should not merely be seen as a risk factor for poor health, but also as an asset that supports the development of autonomy, empowerment and participation in promoting the common good (1, 5). According to WHO, health literacy consists of “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” (7). However, discussions about what health literacy is should not only consider the ability to use and handle externally provided (e.g. taught) information; other abilities are equally important, such as understanding one’s own wishes and preferences in health issues and being able to consider the ethical consequences of one’s actions on others and the world.

Keywords: health; self-rated health; literacy; health education; health promotion; children (age groups); schools (educational institutions); equality (values)

Free keywords: health literacy; schools; health promotion; health education; children; equity

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-08-06 at 18:09