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What is the evidence on the methods, frameworks and indicators used to evaluate health literacy policies, programmes and interventions at the regional, national and organizational levels?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Gill Rowlands, Dr Siân Russell



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).


Although health literacy has long been a focus of attention in the WHO European Region, survey evidence in 2011 of eight Member States indicated that more than 47% of the adult population had suboptimal personal health literacy. Initiatives to prioritize health literacy in public policies include the WHO Shanghai Declaration, the WHO Action Network on Population and Organizational Health Literacy and the Health Evidence Network report on health literacy policies in the WHO European Region. This review identifies evidence on the methods, frameworks, measurement instruments, domains and indicators used to evaluate health literacy policies, programmes and interventions at all levels. Limited evidence was found on evaluation of national policies and programmes, but local programmes and interventions have been measured using quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches. Policy considerations include the development of frameworks and indicators covering a range of domains to enable consistent and comparable population monitoring and evaluations to determine the impact and effectiveness of national policies and programmes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rowlands G, Trezona A, Russell S, Lopatina M, Pelikan J, Paasche-Orlow M, Drapkina O, Kontsevaya A, Sørensen K

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Health Evidence Network Reports

Year: 2019

Online publication date: 16/09/2019

Acceptance date: 30/08/2019

Institution: World Health Organisation

Place Published: Copenhagen