Health Literacy Conference by Rima Rudd

June 13, 2008

Today I have attended to Catalonia Health Promoting Hospitals Network kick off meeting. This Network, coordinated by Cristina Iniesta, has organised a conference about Health Literacy with Rima Rudd as key speaker. Rima Rudd conference was marvellous. Here comes my notes from the conference:

She started talking about income and education as the fundamental axis of health, beyond health care services, and health literacy as a pathway to health outcomes.

She stated that Health Literacy is a function of individuals’ skills and social demands. Core skills of health literacy are:

  • Reading (also on the screen)
  • Writing
  • Numeracy
  • Oral exchange (speaking and listening)

Literacy skills influences one’s ability to access information and to navigate in highly literate environments of modern societies. After this definition she talked about how literacy skills of individuals constrained participation in economy and in society.

Furthermore, she explained how these constrains influenced health care demand taking into account that health literacy is an interaction between individual factors and health sector factors

Individual factors:

  • Literacy and numeracy skills;
  • Language skills;
  • Emotional state;
  • Heath status;
  • Experience and background knowledge

Health sector factors:

  • Communication skills of health care workers;
  • Institutional features;
  • Procedures and processes;
  • Material in use;
  • Assumptions.

After this introduction she reviewed her main research findings. At this point I would like to suggest that you may visit her great website Health Literacy Studies. I also may suggest to check her presentation slide presentation Literacy and Health and her literature revision.

I have uploaded her presentation to SlideShare to spread her wonderful work

Finally, I would like to thank Cristina Iniesta and the rest of the Catalonia Hospital Promoting Health Network for the organization of the event. I’m sure they will become a reference in Health Literacy soon.