Low-literate people have fewer health skills than people who can read and write well. Those who have difficulty reading and writing can also find and understand information about their health. For such a person it is difficult to oversee information and understand and follow instructions. And it is also not so easy to make appointments, follow advice and use medication in the right way. Other health behaviors can also cause problems, because to be healthy you have to know what is and is not healthy. You must be able to look up and understand information about this. You have to understand why something is important, how you perform certain behavior (brushing your teeth, taking medication, drinking a lot of or little fluid). All of these things belong to health skills: skills that someone needs to stay healthy or become healthy.
Low-literate people do not pick up all important information from texts, but also not from conversations. Often they also fail to clearly state their request for help. These limited health skills make them vulnerable, also in terms of their health.
People with limited health skills
People with limited health skills are vulnerable in their health. They have less knowledge about health and disease and what they can do to stay healthy or become healthy. They also often manage less well to put their complaints into words. In their story head and side issues often intermingle. They also find it difficult to tell events in the order in which they took place. It is not possible to ask a clear request for help. They understand opinions less well. They often ask less specific questions and can often make less well-informed choices. They follow advice less often. For example, they take their medication less consistently. They are also less able to maintain control over their health (self-management).
Bottlenecks in self-management due to limited health skills.
- Putting the question of help into words: it is difficult to clearly describe the complaints and the request for help.
- Understand: some of the information does not come over. Misunderstandings easily arise.
- Wanting, can: the possibilities are not always clear. It is difficult to execute instructions correctly.
- Do: advice is followed less often or only for a short time.
- Continue to do: it is difficult to come up with solutions in difficult or new situations.