Health literacy: A new concept for general practice?

Robert John Adams, Nigel P. Stocks, David H. Wilson, Catherine L. Hill, Susan Gravier, Ilona S. Kickbusch, Justin J. Beilby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Health literacy is the ability to understand and interpret the meaning of health information in written, spoken or digital form and how this motivates people to embrace or disregard actions relating to health.
This article aims to describe the concept of health literacy, its importance and its applications in the general practice setting.
Australia trails behind other western countries in practical applications of health literacy. Health literacy underpins the efficiency of consultations, health promotion efforts, and self management programs. Recognition of the health literacy status of individuals allows use of appropriate communication tools. This can save time and effort and improve patient satisfaction and health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-147
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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