Sign Up

Community-based initiatives improving critical health literacy: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence

Article

posted by WM Admin on 31 July 2017

Critical health literacy enables older adults to make informed health decisions and take actions for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their community, within their own social and cultural context. A community-based approach has the potential to improve the critical health literacy of older adults and their communities. However, it is not clear how such initiatives consider critical health literacy.

This study explored how community-based initiatives address the critical health literacy of older adults and their communities.

A systematic literature search was conducted, and a meta-synthesis was carried out, consisting of a qualitative text analysis of the results sections of the 23 included studies.

The authors identified two main themes, which are practices that contribute to the critical health literacy of older adults as well as their communities: 1) collaborative learning, and 2) social support. In these practices they identified reciprocity as a key characteristic of both co-learning and social support.

The authors conclude that this study provides the first overview of community-based initiatives that implicitly address the critical health literacy of older adults and their community. Their results demonstrate that in the context of one’s own life collaborative learning and social support could contribute to people’s understanding and ability to judge, sift and use health information. They suggest adding these two practices to the definition of critical health literacy.

This is an open access article and can be read in free full text at: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4570-7

de Wit, L., et al. (2017). Community-based initiatives improving critical health literacy: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence. BMC Public Health, 18:40.