Health Literacy

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Research Proposal

“Mixed-methods evaluation and modelling of mother’s health literacy on child health in province of Aceh, Indonesia”

Child health is an essential indicator of the quality of life in developing countries. Mothers’ literacy is often positively associated with improved child health and nutritional status (Glewwe, 1999). The possession of literacy increases the ability of a mother or a family to acquire more knowledge. Improvements in child health are considered as the consequences of enhanced of mother’s knowledge. In short, literacy affects health, and health affects educational achievement (Grosse, 1989). Because the correlation between literacy, health, wealth and well-being is becoming increasingly important, it is crucial to include health literacy as skills required for an adult ‘to function’ in a community (Kickbusch, 2001).

Health literacy has been recognized as a key outcome measure of health promotion interventions (Nutbeam, 1996). It can be categorized as basic/functional health literacy, communicative/interactive health literacy and critical literacy. Each level has different ‘autonomy and personal empowerment’. Individual attention is focused on developing the skills and confidence to make choices that enhance individual health outcomes (Nutbeam, 2000). As the highest level, critical literacy ideally will be achieved in which people have this capability to search for information, assess the reliability of that information and use that information to have a better control over their health determinants (Nutbeam and Renkert, 2001). Following this health literacy concept, Nutbeam and Renkert (2001) define mother’s health literacy as ‘the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of women to gain access to, understand and use the information in ways that promote and maintain their health and that of their children’.

In terms of literacy, Indonesia has a relatively high of literacy...
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