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Social Determinants and Health Literacy of the Elderly: Walk to Well-Being

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1106390, PP. 1-16

Subject Areas: Health Policy, Public Health, Sociology

Keywords: Health Literacy, Elder, Social Organizations, Health-Communication, Well-Being

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Framework: Research on health determinants reports that health literacy has a significant impact on the quality of life and well-being of individuals (Kottke, Stiefel & Pronk, 2016) organizations (Brach et al., 2012) and communities (when societies go through adverse conditions, for example through an economic, financial crisis, or even the crisis “COVID-19” whose consequences are still to be determined in the effects on the quality of life of individuals. Health literacy is considered as one of the resources that play an important role in increasing individual resilience and well-being and also a result of health promotion actions such as education, social mobilization and advocacy, through the defense of citizens’ interests (Nutbeam, 2000). Well-being is a positive concept (Kottke, Stiefel & Pronk, 2016). Methodology: In a quantitative and qualitative approach, a descriptive cross-sectional study was developed to a group of 22 elderly people, who attend a Day Center in the geographical area of Lisbon (Portugal). Data were collected using the HLS-EU- PT questionnaire, the sociodemographic questionnaire with the selected sample—a group of elderly—as well as semi-structured interviews with caregivers involved in this context. An evaluation was also made by observing manifestations of well-being among the individuals in the sample. Results: The results show a population with low health literacy, with chronic disease, but whose support of the social organization where they spent their time, the easy access arranged by the social organization with private transportation and food and the social activities they develop daily which stimulate a daily relationship with other persons, are strong factors that promote well-being. It is therefore pointed out a need to fit social organizations within the investments of health literacy promoters of “literate organizations” (Brach et al., 2012), since it is in these organizations that a large part of the older population in Portugal is daily in contact and therefore in close proximity to interventions favorable to improve their health literacy.

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Almeida, C. V. D. and Veiga, A. (2020). Social Determinants and Health Literacy of the Elderly: Walk to Well-Being. Open Access Library Journal, 7, e6390. doi:


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