Health Literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions (Ratzan and Parker, 2000). Health literacy is an important issue in our era. The integrated health literacy model developed by the consortium of European Health Literacy Studies is used as a conceptual framework. 8 different countries, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, were developed as a measure tool (European Health Literacy survey, HLS-EU). The level of health literacy in European Society was found to be 47,6% inadequate-problematic. Astudy from Germany shows that 54.3% of the population were found to have limited health literacy (Schaeffer, Berens and Vogt, 2017). This means approximately 1 out of 2 people in Germany has a limited understanding of health and limited qualifications for applying health information. Health literacy is a shared function of social and individual factors. Individuals’ health literacy skills and capacities are mediated by their education, culture, and language (Nielsen-Bohlman, 2004). Especially education is the most important aspect of this issue because being informed and applying the knowledge passes from the education process. Although many stakeholders are involved in this process, the first part always starts with a teacher and a student. As we take this example to reality; students are equivalent to applying group, who are people, and teachers are equivalent to healthcare professionals. Every trainer or teacher also are/was trained in some way. As medical doctors, we are a sub-group of healthcare professionals and our education starts in medical faculties/schools. By implementing health literacy education in medical curricula, our chances to improve the current situation, by graduating more equipped medical students from undergraduate programs, will rise. Basically, we must consider a healthcare provider’s ability to use common words and perceive whether a patient understands a discussion or not (Nielsen-Bohlman, 2004). Peer education is one of the hot topics of medical education. Studies show that peer education’s benefits cannot be underestimated in learning processes (Cate and Durning, 2007).
Our aim is to both develop and use peer education methods in order to get better outcomes from our educational program.
Goals and Achievements
Our main goal is to develop, apply and evaluate a new health literacy education program with peer education method and integrating this program to medical curriculums, with the aim of raising medical doctors’ abilities by basic undergraduate education. By this project, our achievements are: Developing a health literacy education program, developing specific peer education methods for the program, transfer effective and participation educational techniques to medical students, raising abilities of medical students, integrating program to medical curricula, empowering European health institutions’ and systems’ health outputs.