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Open AccessArticle

Health Literacy as Communicative Action—A Qualitative Study among Persons at Risk in the Context of Predictive and Preventive Medicine

1
Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health (CERES), University of Cologne and University Hospital of Cologne, Universitätsstraße 91, 50931 Cologne, Germany
2
Research Unit Ethics, Institute for the History of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne and University Hospital of Cologne, Universitätsstraße 91, 50931 Cologne, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051718
Received: 7 February 2020 / Revised: 26 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
Predictive and preventive medicine play an increasingly important role in public debates on health, providing cutting-edge technologies with the potential to measure and predict individual risks of getting ill. This leads to an ever-expanding definitional space between being “healthy” and being “ill”, challenging the individual’s everyday life, attitudes and perceptions towards the self and the process of health-related decision-making. “How do the condition of ‘being at risk’ and individual health literacy interrelate?” is the leading question of the current contribution. Drawing on empirical qualitative data, collected by means of narrative interviews with persons at risk in four clinical fields, a bottom-up ethnographic and health sciences perspective on health literacy (with an emphasis on critical health literacy) is employed. The findings will be embedded within theoretical approaches dealing with power relations and communication in healthcare encounters, particularly Habermas’ theory of communicative action. The core outcome of our study is a concept for an overarching model of health literacy in the context of health-related risk prediction across indications, based on empirical insights gained through interpretative analysis of the four clinical domains. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; persons at risk; ethnographic approach; health sciences; qualitative research; perceptions of health and disease; critical health literacy; shared decision making; communicative action health literacy; persons at risk; ethnographic approach; health sciences; qualitative research; perceptions of health and disease; critical health literacy; shared decision making; communicative action
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Harzheim, L.; Lorke, M.; Woopen, C.; Jünger, S. Health Literacy as Communicative Action—A Qualitative Study among Persons at Risk in the Context of Predictive and Preventive Medicine. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1718.

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