Literacy and Health Education


After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Recognise the characteristics of the partakers and workings of disseminating educational messages.
2. Identify and understand the factors that determine and shape behaviours and attitudes.
3. Distinguish and understand health communication models and behavioural learning models.
4. Identify characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of health education methodologies through the use of campaigns and peer education.
5. Understand the concept and importance of health literacy.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rosa Teodósio


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 36

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Not applicable


• Sørensen, K, et al. (2012). Health Literacy and Public Health: A Systematic Review and Integration of Definitions and Models. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 80.
• World Health Organization (WHO Regional Office for Europe). (2013). Health Literacy - The Solid Facts. eds. Kickbusch, I., Pelikan, J. M., Apfel, F., and Tsouros. A. D. World Health Organization, Copenhagen, Denmark. • Chau, P. H. et al. (2015). Development and Validation of Chinese Health Literacy Scale for Low Salt Consumption - Hong Kong Population (CHLSalt-HK). PloS One, July 6, 10(7), 1–15.

Teaching method

- Dialogued Lectures, to stimulate discussion to resolve problems with students;
- Conducting seminar where students present works related to the syllabus of the Curricular Unit;
- Tutorials of work to use knowledge and to clarify doubts.

Evaluation method

- Group work presented during the seminar (20%);
- Written individual final work (80%).

Subject matter

I. Health education and communication. Features of the various players / components in the dissemination of educational messages (sources, transmitters, messages, receiver channels, techniques).
II. Health communication models: direct model, mechanistic model, and participatory model.
III. Behaviour determinants; shaping attitudes and behaviour. Behavioural learning models. Influencing, facilitator and progression factors. Health education campaigns and peer education: characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
IV. Behaviour related to health in specific population groups and contexts: health education for young people, MSM and immigrants.
V. How health literacy can empower individuals and groups to take more positive health decisions. The importance of health knowledge, motivation and skills. Example: literacy tuberculosis in migrant populations and travellers.


Programs where the course is taught: