Using Health Literacy in School to Overcome Inequalities

Ainhoa Flecha, Rocío García, Rima Rudd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Health literacy has firmly established the links between literacy skills and health outcomes and is subsequently considered a key strategy for improving the health of disadvantaged populations and addressing social inequality. However, current research findings for improving health literacy have primarily focused on adults and actions within health and health care settings. Implementation studies outside the health sector are scarce. This study, a subset of the INCLUD-ED community- based project on social inclusion, reports on successful community-based approaches to health literacy. This article focuses on two schools that take advantage of the cultural intelligence of their students' family members, allowing them to make health literacy programmes more effective and useful for the participants. In addition, family involvement in educational activities addressed to children, including health programmes, has been found to improve the health literacy of the participating adults and their use of healthcare services. Findings indicate that schools in Europe can play a key role in breaking the cycle of health inequalities by promoting health literacy through education. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-218
JournalEuropean Journal of Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Communities
  • Health inequalities
  • Health literacy
  • Poverty
  • Schools
  • Vulnerable groups


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