Health Literacy: An Exploration of the Concept in a Life-as-Lived

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Health literacy has become a relatively popular notion in the past 15 years in both the policy and professional-practices realms in Canada and abroad. While health literacy has emerged from public health, health education, and health promotion, historically, its increasing presence in discourses surrounding clinical and public health practices has focused on defining, measuring, and operationalising notions of health literacy, rather than attempting to understand what health literacy means to and has to offer the actual individuals implicated in its practice. In seeking to understand health literacy more deeply, a critical literature review has been undertaken; from this point, in pursuit of a greater appreciation of the overlapping and intersecting notions in the field of health literacy, an auto/ethnographic account of the concept from the perspective of a new mother and a new chronic illness and injury patient has been constructed. What has resulted is a classically composed, but narratively varied, examination of these impressions and experiences. Ultimately, no common account of health literacy has emerged: rather, what has been found is more closely akin to a ‘family resemblance’, one that presents challenges, and perhaps opportunities, to expand the discussions clinically and publically about this notion that, finally, affects us all.
Education--Health, Biography, Health Care Management
Holstine Vander Valk, D. (2014). Health Literacy: An Exploration of the Concept in a Life-as-Lived (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/26343