Health Literacy – A Communication View

Health is not only needs of humans, but also needs of social development and economic development. In order to improve the health of citizens and promote public health, we should offer a strong support on medical treatment and emphasize on the “prevention is greater than curing” concept. As China is a country with increasingly aged people and has a a higher prevalence rate on chronic diseases , this idea is particularly important to our country. Health education and health promotion are the ideas of this type.

They help on the improvement of public health through education and communication with nations, while the latter even includes comprehensive measures such as environment support and policy support. One of the means of health promotion is to enhance health literacy. World Health Organization in the Sixth Global Conference on Health Promotion published the “Bangkok Charter” which says “To make further advances in implementing these strategies, all sectors and settings must act to: build capacity for policy development, leadership, health promotion practice, knowledge transfer and research, and health literacy”. Health literacy means that individuals can obtain, interpret and understand basic health information and services, and use related information and services to promote the health of individuals.

Health can be divided into physical health and mental health, so I put the corresponding concept of physical health literacy and mental health literacy in order to study. Through health education, improving health literacy to reach health promotion, this procedure is closely related to the health communication. Research on how to improve health literacy has a very important practical significance. In the view of communication this article focuses on health literacy particularly the enhancement of health literacy, with a hope to draw relevant experience in enhancing health literacy.

Through the analysis and presentation of health, health education, health promotion, health literacy and health communication, the introduction of different types of classic health promotion cases and health literacy enhancing cases, I adopt communication theory to analyze the phenomenon that enhancement of health literacy can achieve health promotion so as to reach the corresponding conclusions applied to enhancement of health literacy and health promotion.

The conclusions is that upgrading of health literacy is one of the means of health promotion, and commmunication plays an important role in this procedure. The communication is not uniform, but according to the different needs of different audiences to choose the sites, methods and content to achieve the desired effect of the communication. Article also includes communication measurements based on the health status in China which are for improvement on health literacy of residents and health promotion in China.

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