What is health literacy?

Health and communication are two closely related concepts. In recent years – largely due to the pandemic, The rise of the internet and social media— We are witnessing a conceptual shift in the way society, patients and healthcare professionals communicate. Communication and information are not sufficient to guarantee behavior change, but they are a necessary element. and, as we will see below, lay the foundations on which to lay the foundations for changing habits related to our health.

Health is adopting new forms in which the citizen, the patient, and their environment occupy the center of efforts and strategies. Active participation in all aspects of society is a growing reality. However, effective decisions acquisition of knowledge and certain skills. We refer to the concept. health literacy

What is health literacy?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as: “cognitive and social skills and a person’s ability to access, understand and use information to promote and maintain health”. That is, it includes people’s knowledge, motivation and skills to access, understand, evaluate and apply health information. Making judgments and making decisions about healthcare in daily lifedisease prevention and health promotion, maintaining or improving quality of life throughout the life cycle.

There is abundant scientific evidence that health literacy influences outcomes and is a social determinant of health that can be modified through individual, organizational, community and social interventions. In fact, there is evidence to show that People with low health literacy have lower therapeutic compliancereduced self-management capacity of chronic diseases, higher prevalence of risk factors, worse indicators of morbidity and mortality, in addition to an increase in health care costs.

Literacy to improve health systems

In the association of COPD patients and relatives, APEPOC, We believe that a patient, a family member and a literate citizen will be the real engine of change in healthcare systems. It will demand quality medicine, promote sound policies, and use services more efficiently, i.e. care more suited to its needs.

This is why we started retrofit guides It is targeted to patients with COPD and their relatives, taking into account their “feeling needs”, international consensus recommendations and scientific evidence. Guides are a tool for patients, their families and caregivers Make the best decisions in the management of this disease.

This project enabled the participation of the international platform for respiratory patients. Global Allergy and Airways Patient Platform (GAAPP) and by the CIBERES Respiratory Consortium and translated into eight languages. Guides can be found here.

Improve the quality of life of people with COPD

COPD is a chronic and degenerative disease that reduces the quality of life of patients and directly affects their families. In our country alone, this disease causes 29,000 deaths each year and is currently ranked as the fourth leading cause of death, ahead of pathologies such as lung cancer, colon cancer or HIV.

APEPOC National COPD Patients Association Its mission is to defend the rights of patients with this disease and to improve their quality of life. To achieve this goal, the association uses two channels: care services for members and dissemination of information about the disease so that managements invest in the quality of life of people with this pathology.

#health #literacy

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