Vital Decisions: A Critical Look at Health Literacy in Turkey

ÖNAL, H. Inci (2014) Vital Decisions: A Critical Look at Health Literacy in Turkey. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 88 - Health and Biosciences Libraries with Information Literacy. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Vital Decisions: A Critical Look at Health Literacy in Turkey

Turkish health care system is very complicated. Access to comprehensive information about available health care services in the community is necessary to determine health literacy level and meet the needs of their clients. Health care workers, public health organisations, nationwide organizations, ministries, educational materials, websites and librarians play an important role in linking their clients with appropriate health services. This study will describe the development of health literacy projects which have been practiced since 2000 in Turkey. In the context of study, 25 written case studies – reports have been examined and 2 of them have been found very important and critical projects for health literacy studies in Turkey. Common challenges and opportunities for providing accessible health literacy studies are presented in this paper through 2 case studies, including: National Health Network, and Ankara Project. In “National Health Network” study, data was obtained via using questionnaire to evaluate health literacy, General Health Survey, “Evaluation of the Written Materials Appropriateness” has been formed to evaluate available patient educational materials in healthcare centres, DISCERN (Quality Criteria for Consumer Health Information) tool has been used to determine reliability and information quality of the education materials. In “Ankara Project” study, data was collected via face – to – face interview with patients and was analyzed by using One – Way ANOVA, T test and chi-square tests. Based on the results from these 2 studies, the goal is to decrease the existing information gap for this increasing demand. While this study is facilitating access to information on health literacy studies in Turkey, it may be possible to discuss both the opportunities and challenges for the provision of equitable information services in health.

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