The Role of Community Development in Building Critical Health Literacy

Journal article


Sykes, SM, Wills, JD and Popple, K (2017). The Role of Community Development in Building Critical Health Literacy. Community Development Journal. 53 (4), pp. 751-767. https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsx019
AuthorsSykes, SM, Wills, JD and Popple, K
Abstract

There is growing international interest in health literacy and the processes by which it can be developed. Critical health literacy, one of the domains of health literacy, shows an affinity with the goals and processes of community development. Critical health literacy represents a cognitive and personal skill set that exists at either individual or community level and which is oriented towards social and political action on factors affecting health. This paper examines the relationship between critical health literacy and community development. Using an illustrative case study it explores the extent to which community development processes were used by a project to build critical health literacy amongst vulnerable populations and communities. The case study demonstrates that in working to build the different elements of critical health literacy processes were used that were typical of community development. These processes included; building self-efficacy and self esteem, participatory and mutual learning techniques, acquisition of technical, practical and emancipatory knowledge, democratic processes of collective decision making, critical questioning, critical awareness raising and conscientization. The paper argues for community development to embrace and advance the concept of critical health literacy in order that; its potential to address inequalities in health can be achieved and to create an opportunity to embed community development more fully within health policy and practice.

Keywordscritical health literacy; 1604 Human Geography; 1608 Sociology; 1605 Policy And Administration; Urban & Regional Planning
Year2017
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Journal citation53 (4), pp. 751-767
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0010-3802
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsx019
Web address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/cdj/article-abstract/53/4/751/3865587?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Publication dates
Print09 Jun 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited25 May 2017
Accepted25 Apr 2017
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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