Are you looking to learn more about credibility, advertising and building a solid brand as an influencer? Our brand new Wellspoken X HBC WIM certification may be what you are looking for.

Have you heard of the term health literacy?

This is a term that has been bandied around since the early noughties1, and since then has begun to gain momentum. The NHS, Public Health England and tons of academic research institutes have all deemed increasing our nation’s health literacy as a priority.

There are several definitions of health literacy, but we think that the World Health Organisation sums it up best:

‘The personal characteristics and social resources needed for individuals and communities to access, understand, appraise and use information and services to make decisions about health.’2

Unfortunately, research from government agencies across the globe indicates that more often than not, the average person is unable to understand and action health information that is provided to them. 3

Misunderstandings are regrettably commonplace, and the reality is, a lack of knowledge is bad for our health.

 

As health and wellness content generators it is important that we always keep the health literacy levels of our reader’s front of mind when we are developing content.

The question to ask ourselves is:

Have I provided enough information for someone to make a balanced decision on this topic?

At WellSpoken we often conduct research and audits of content produced by key stakeholders in the wellness industry, everything from blogger to brands. Nine times out of ten our reviews show that there is never any external supporting information included in wellness consumer content.

A key marker of credible health writing is supporting your reader’s health literacy – one way to do this is to provide your reader with external sources of information where they can read more about a specific topic. Supporting information is different from references – the intention is to give our reader another outlet that can contribute to upskilling their knowledge is a particular area.

Our mission is to reach a stage where it is utterly the norm to write a piece of content and give the reader several other avenues to make their own informed wellness decisions.

 

Supporting health literacy skills:

If you are interested in reading more about health literacy, I would encourage you to have a look at the following organisations for more information and have a perusal of our reference list. There is some insightful (and easy to read) research there to sink your teeth into.

Are you looking to learn more about credibility, advertising and building a solid brand as an influencer? Our brand new Wellspoken X HBC WIM certification may be what you are looking for.

References

  1. Berkman, N. D. et al. (2010) Health Literacy: What is it? Journal of Health Communications, 15 Suppl 2:9-19 DOI: 1080/10810730.2010.499985
  2. World Health Organization. Health literacy toolkit for low- and middle-income countries. 2015. searo.who.int/entity/healthpromotion/documents/hl_tookit/en/
  3. Sheridan, S. L. et al. (2011) Interventions for Individuals with Low Health Literacy: A Systematic Review, Journal of Health Communication, 16 Suppl 3:30-54, DOI: 1080/10810730.2011.604391