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Health Literacy - A Scoping Study: Final Report



5.1 The findings of Stage 1 of the scoping exercise are organised in 6 sections as follows:

  • Definitions of Health Literacy
  • The Measurement of Health Literacy
  • The Impact of Inadequate or Low Health Literacy
  • Policy and Practice Initiatives to Improve Health Literacy and their Impact
  • The Nature and Extent of Links between Health Literacy and Scottish Government Policy
  • Possible Options for Development.

5.2 Note that early on in the development of the material for Stage 1, a highly relevant - and recent - publication was unearthed (1). The Picker Institute was commissioned by the Health Foundation, under their Quest for Quality and Improved Performance ( QQUIP) initiative to produce an overview of the research evidence on the 'effectiveness of patient-focused 3 interventions'. Seven areas - one of which was improving health literacy - were identified for review. Chapter 1 of the review report, which was published in August 2006, is entitled 'Improving health literacy', and this material has been drawn on in what follows, especially in the section which sets out the findings in relation to 'Policy and Practice Initiatives to Improve Health Literacy and their Impact'.

5.3 In order to improve the narrative flow of the report, and to focus the reader's attention on current and future action, the detailed findings from Stage 1 have been reported in an annex ( Annex 3).