The relationship between health literacy and health outcomes in Australian, Canadian and New Zealand adults : a scoping review of interventions within the literature

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Ioka, Grace Selina
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Roy, Dianne
Waugh, John
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
health promotion
public health
health literacy
consumer health information
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Ioka, G. s. (2018). The relationship between health literacy and health outcomes in Australian, Canadian and New Zealand adults: A scoping review of interventions within the literature. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: This scoping review was conducted to answer two questions: 1.How do interventions designed to improve health literacy affect health outcomes? 2.How have these interventions been implemented in adult populations in Australia, Canada and New Zealand? AIM: To scope the range of health literacy interventions and their effect on health outcomes for Australian, Canadian and New Zealand adults. METHODS: For this scoping review, EBSCO health-related databases and Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials and reference lists of key publications, citations and recommended lists in Science Direct were searched using pre-determined search terms and parameters. Selected articles were peer-reviewed and major themes extracted and summarised. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies met inclusion criteria, ten from Australia, seven from Canada and four from New Zealand. Health literacy interventions varied between geographic settings. Seventeen health literacy related interventions led to improvement in health outcomes. Key themes were; health literacy interventions in self-management education increases self-care and self-efficacy. Health literacy interventions must address primary and secondary prevention of non-communicable diseases in individuals and communities. Increasing cultural and contextual awareness in health literacy research and practice and increasing access to health resources can improve health outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this scoping review suggest that these interventions had the greatest effect on health outcomes. Seventeen of twenty-one articles in this review documented improvements in health outcomes following health literacy interventions. Therefore, tentative conclusions about the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes can be made. This scoping review identified health literacy interventions that influence health outcomes in the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand context which may inform future research, practice and policy.
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