OECD Health Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Health literacy for people-centred care

Where do OECD countries stand?

In the 21st century care, the old paradigm “because the doctor said so” no longer holds. Individuals are now seeking ways to understand their health options and take more control over their health decisions. But this is not an easy task. Professionals continue to use medical jargon, drug instructions are not always clear, and health information in clinical settings continue to be complex and challenging to navigate. Widespread access to digital technologies offset some of these barriers by democratising access to health information, providing new ways to improve health knowledge and support self care. Nonetheless, when health information is misused or misinterpreted, it can wrongly influence individuals’ preferences and behaviour, jeopardise their health, or put unreasonable demands on health systems.


JEL: I12: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health Behavior; I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
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