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Health literacy is important in supporting people make good health decisions in their everyday life

Learn more about our project

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Our objective

Improving health literacy amongst Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) youth is a Queensland Health priority. Health literacy is the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to access, understand and use information to make informed decisions about their health. 

Project summary

In this project, we want to learn about health literacy including the ehealth literacy of young people from Pacific Islander, North-East and South-East Asian backgrounds. Unfortunately, there is not much information about the health literacy of young people from diverse backgrounds, hence the purpose of our project. We are using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) which is a validated tool that has been used in a range of settings in Australia and abroad. 

In the next stage of our project, we’ll also focus on young people’s sexual health literacy. This relates to developing healthy intimate relationships and being able to understand and apply, preventative sexual health information to make informed choices, negotiate safe sex. 

What is health literacy?

Do you sometimes find it hard to find, understand, and use health information, especially about sensitive topics such as sexual health? Do you sometimes find health education materials are not clear or recommendations are not practical? Or that you are not sure how to talk to healthcare providers such as doctors, and nurses about your health of that healthcare providers use a lot of medical terms which is difficult to understand? This relates to health literacy. 

Health literacy refers to individual health literacy which is your ability to find, understand and use health information. This can look like completing health care forms, reading health information, understanding, and using the health care system. 

As well as the health literacy environment, these are the health system-based elements, such as policies, processes, resources, and materials, which affect the way the individuals engage with the health system. 

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