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Portuguese Journal of Public Health

versão impressa ISSN 2504-3137versão On-line ISSN 2504-3145


COSTA, Andreia Silva et al. A Strategy for the Promotion of Health Literacy in Portugal, Centered around the Life-Course Approach: The Importance of Digital Tools. Port J Public Health [online]. 2019, vol.37, n.1, pp.50-54. ISSN 2504-3137.

Applied to health, literacy enhances the capacity to make the decisions that are necessary for autonomous health management. With this position paper, we intend to defend the thesis that the conditions for creating a national strategy for health literacy in Portugal along the life course are strengthened by the modernization of the National Health Service (SNS). First, we conducted a scope review on health literacy, and then we collected data on the National Strategy for Health Literacy and the different actions around it. The Literacy Program in Health and Care Integration, aligned with the modernization program of the National Health Service “SNS + Proximidade,” has been developed based on a life course approach. On the other hand, the National Strategy for Health Literacy, in addition to encompassing different dimensions of health literacy, from the individual and community level to the health systems, also presents strategic opportunities for intervention in contexts associated with different determinants of health. The digital Health Literacy Library of the SNS Portal is the first tool to integrate this strategy, being a digital repository of resources to support the promotion of health literacy, accessible at all times. These resources include interactive digital health books and the “My Health Journal,” encouraging people to organize their health information and take control of their health throughout their lives. The strategy also includes plans to bring these resources to people in various everyday contexts, such as public libraries, schools, and day centers, enabling their activation. At the same time, the digital modernization of the SNS allows health information to be made available in the Citizen Area of the SNS Portal, for example, by facilitating each citizen's access to their health information in a confidential way. The entire process of implementing the health literacy strategy is dynamic and aims to encourage all citizens to participate in its construction and evaluation, and consequently in its adaptation and continuous improvement.

Palavras-chave : Health literacy; Information technology; Preventative programs.

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