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Health Literacy: A topic every New Zealander should care abo

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Niki Bujak

on 5 October 2017

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Transcript of Health Literacy: A topic every New Zealander should care abo

It is the ability to find, understand, and use health information effectively, to make positive life choices and navigate the health sector.
Health literacy affects all aspects of one's life, including work, school, family life, social relationships, and health outcomes.
This can comprise of, but is not limited to, interpreting information, picking healthy food choices, working safely, and deciphering how to take prescriptions.
50-87% of people in New Zealand are lacking the health literacy skills needed to cope with everyday life requirements.
Adolescents have the poorest overall statistics with 69-87% considered to have low health literacy.
Maori have the lowest health literacy in all categories regardless of social status, exposure, or employment.
What causes poor health literacy and how does it affect New Zealand people?
Causes of Poor Health Literacy
Early childhood exposure
Socialisation - in various settings from early life to adulthood
Cultural norms - some people belong to multiple cultures
Socioeconomic status
Education level, including high-level literacy
Employment status
Effects of Health Literacy Defecit
People with low level health literacy are:
Less likely to use screening services
Have lower understanding of illnesses including how to manage them
Need hospital level care more frequently
Use emergency services more often
Have more accidents and participate in riskier behaviour
Have higher rates of long-term preventible conditions
Have overall poorer health outcomes
Have higher rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, teen pregnancy, and bad nutrition
Have poorer coping skills that can often lead to mental health problems
What Is Being Done To Stop This Problem?
Health Literacy: More Than Just A Healthcare Issue
What Is Health Literacy?
Did You Know??
Finding and using information isn't always as easy as it sounds.....
Knowing where to find
information can help - this doesn't always come from family, friends, or all internet search results.
Knowing when to seek a professional's opinion can be difficult.
Understanding fact vs. opinion and how to apply this to one's own life is a key factor in a health literate individual.
Ministry of Health [MOH], 2015b).
Government Spending and Long-term Conditions
Ministry Of Health Framework
Nurse led care and self management supports
Early Childhood And School Approaches
More Research, How To Reach The Unreachable
Why I Chose To Do A Digital Presentation
Ministry of Health [MOH], 2010
A literature review was performed to find the information used in this presentation. To help narrow the search question an adapted version of the PICOT model was used.
Population - People with poor health literacy
Environment - New Zealand
Comparison - National and international methods used to combat low health literacy
Timeframe - Literature from the last 10 years
Question - What causes poor health literacy and how does it affect New Zealand people? What is being done to change health literacy statistics in New Zealand and worldwide?
Presentation by: Niki Bujak
(Ishikawa & Kiuchi, 2010; Ministry of Health [MOH], 2009)
(Kickbusch, Pelikan, Apfel & Tsourus, 2013)
Did You Know?
Early childhood exposure to proverty often results in environmental distress, poor access to healthcare, and increased risk of preventible illnesses with poorer outcomes.
Parents of these children are often unable to manage their children's illness due to health literacy defecits.
Evidence shows children in this environment have a decreased ability to learn due to being in a constant stress response.
(D'Souza, Turner, Simmers, Craig & Dowell, 2012)
Worldwide poor health literacy accounts for the majority of health spending through affecting lifestyle choices and determinants of health.
The majority of deaths worldwide are due to preventible long-term conditions
70-80% of healthcare spending in New Zealand is used in the management of long-term conditions
(Kickbusch et al., 2013; Pearce, 2011)
This framework was put into place for health workers. Its role is to help simplify information for health consumers in order to make understanding and navigating the health field more attainable. However, it does not address how to increase a person's health literacy, only how to support people regardless of their health literacy level.
(Ministry of Health, 2015a)
What More Needs To Be Done To Combat Health Literacy Statistics?
These supports have been trialled in general practices in the management of long-term conditions
It provides continuity in care, longer appointment times, and contact between appointments
It helps to address more health concerns and build on health literacy
This form of care becomes very effective and cost reducing after it has been in place for a few years
(Askerud & Conder, 2016; Flanagan, Moffat, Healey & Moffitt, 2014)
The burden of poor health literacy will only be reduced if the focus shifts to prevention and not just curing poor health literacy
(Pearce, 2011)
Did You Know?
Unless people are given the same opportunities in relation to health information and exposure, they will never fully reach their health literacy potential, or be empowered enough to take control of their own health
(Korhonen, 2006)
96% of New Zealand children access early childhood education prior to school
Implementing programmes that teach health messages from a young age will create a stable foundation to build strong health literacy throughout life
Schools should adopt a health promoting culture, with health education in their cirriculum - this should include how and where to find information that is credible
(D'Souza et al., 2012; Kickbusch et al., 2013)
Did You Know?
The more exposure to health promoting messages, the more likely an individual is to develop positive health habits and beliefs
(Flanagan et al., 2014)
While the approaches being used and suggested to implement address a large percentage of the population their are still a small amount of people who do not access the health sector, early childhood centres, or public schools. If more research is not done these 'unreachable' people may fall through the gaps.
(Kickbusch et al., 2013)
Health related and non-health related agencies need to work in partnership to make a difference in health literacy statistics in New Zealand and worldwide
(Schneider & Whitehead, 2013)

Digital learning is known to be easily accessible, adaptable, user friendly in many circumstances, and has the ability to reach people who would not normally engage with health services. As this presentation points out, many people with poor health literacy are not capable of learning in educational environments, providing this information on another platform may help to get more engagement. I also chose this option so the information could easily be distributed to multiple influential groups, including government agencies, schools, and district health boards.
(Kumar, 2016)
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