IUHPE Position Statement on Health Literacy: a practical vision for a health literate world

Janine Bröder, Peter Chang, Ilona Kickbusch, Diane Levin-Zamir, Evelyn McElhinney, Don Nutbeam, Orkan Okan, Richard Osborne, Jürgen Pelikan, Irving Rootman, Gillian Rowlands, Luis Nunes-Saboga, Robert Simmons, Kristine Sørensen, Stephan Van den Broucke, Stefania Velardo, Jane Wills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Position Statement on Health Literacy provides an overview of existing evidence and continuing debate on health literacy. Developed by the IUHPE Global Working Group on Health Literacy, including experts from around the globe, the Statement provides a basis for discussion and advocacy, by and with IUHPE, both within the health promotion community, and among stakeholders and partners in health promotion. The Statement offers a detailed introduction to the concept of health literacy, calling for global action to improve health literacy in populations. It positions health literacy as an important and modifiable social determinant of health, that plays a significant role in broadly-based strategies for health promotion. The Statement emphasises the necessity of a systems approach to health literacy, underpinned by global, national, regional and local policies. It summarises key evidence to guide practice and policy development, recognising the importance of continued investment in intervention research, in professional and consumer capacity building, and in the transfer of research findings into frontline health promotion practice. In summary, health literacy is understood as an important cross-cutting issue in health promotion throughout the lifespan, which has practical application in guiding clinical practice, public health interventions and public policy for the advancement of global health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Health Promotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • capacity building (including competencies)
  • equity
  • global health promotion
  • health literacy
  • health promotion
  • health promotion intervention
  • policy/politics
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'IUHPE Position Statement on Health Literacy: a practical vision for a health literate world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this