Health Literacy in a Network Society

January 2, 2008

It has come to my notice that MedlinePlus has a new page on Health Literacy where Health literacy is defined as “the ability to understand health information and to use that information to make good decisions about your health and medical care. Health information can overwhelm even people with advanced literacy skills”.

eHealth has been tackled the issue of literacy (see as an example eHealth Literacy: Essential Skills for Consumer Health in a Networked World) putting the emphasis on “the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem”.

Talk about health literacy in the Network Society may include aspect related to the Internet, not as a separate world but as an integrate world where this technology is embedded, directly or not directly, in many aspects of our life. According to that it’s difficult to understand why the word Internet doesn’t appear on the first page of the Health Literacy or on the Quick Guide to Health Literacy¬† page. It’s probably time to integrate the Internet in all the activities related to health and try to avoid the “e” label.