Health literacy action framework for health emergencies and infodemics

Orkan Okan, Melanie Messer, Diane Levin-Zamir, Kevin Dadaczynski, Leena Paakkari, Doris Schaeffer, Kristine Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the critical role of health literacy during the COVID-19 infodemic and provides recommendations for decision-makers regarding how health literacy can be advanced as an empowering resource to mitigate the harmful effects of future infodemics. Based on a comprehensive literature review, key areas concerning health literacy are identified that help provide a strategic response during an infodemic. A framework for systemic health literacy capacity and policy advice is presented to inform and guide decision-makers on managing an infodemic with health literacy strategies. The way forward includes emphasizing the rights to access information and a broader view of how health literacy can help build back better in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the paper includes a call to action for decision-makers to integrate systemic health literacy responsiveness into public health emergency strategies to counter a future infodemic's diffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-130
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Services and Use
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 - The authors. Published by IOS Press.


  • Covid-19
  • Health literacy
  • digital health literacy
  • infodemic
  • public understanding and misunderstanding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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