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STOA Workshop on Health Literacy

Time 01/07/2015 14:30 - 17:00
Location European Parliament, Brussels
Organizer STOA | European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment

Barbara Gonzato at

Link More information about this event (opens in a new window)


This event will address different aspects of health literacy:

  • Health literacy and health behaviour
  • Health literacy - What are the key facts? Where does Europe stand
  • Health literacy and patient empowerment - The role of technological self-management (Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous , EPF)
  • What is e-health and how it can contribute to patient empowerment
  • M-health: what role can mobile applications service to improve health literacy?
  • The importance of health literacy for communicable diseases prevention
  • The role of EU policy in ensuring that innovative solutions are developed to improve health literacy

What is Health Literacy?

It has been defined as “the ability to make sound health decisions in the context of everyday life: at home, in the community, at the workplace, the health care system, the market place and the political arena.” (Kickbusch et al, 2005). Competencies encompassed by this definition include: basic health knowledge, reading, comprehending and evaluating health information, application of health preventing, promoting and self-care behaviours, verbal communication with health professionals, health decision-making, health advocacy and activism.

Health Inequalities:

Health literacy is a fundamental aspect of tackling health inequalities that undermine social cohesion and the common European values of equity, solidarity and universal access to good quality healthcare across and within Member States.

The role of technology:

With the emergence of new technologies, citizens will face more complex health decisions. Future developments such as eHealth and mHealth will pose new ethical and information challenges and require a high level of health literacy of all citizens. Finally, health information needs to be more easily accessible, understandable and controlled.

More information: Health Literacy

Health Literacy and Patient Empowerment

From a patient’s perspective, the knowledge and competence gained through health literacy leads to the strength and empowerment needed to manage well a disease and its impacts on quality of life. The health literate patient is then able to process, appraise and apply the information to her or his own personal circumstances

Although empowerment involves much more than “patient education”, the right information and resources are fundamental tools for empowerment.

More information: Patient Empowerment Campaign

Related Information

Workshop Speakers