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Article

Strengthening Critical Health Literacy for Health Information Appraisal: An Approach from Argumentation Theory

1
Department of Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Lucerne, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland
2
Swiss Paraplegic Research, 6207 Nottwil, Switzerland
3
Institute of Public Health, Università della Svizzera Italiana, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michela Rimondini and Isolde Martina Busch
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136764
Received: 17 May 2021 / Revised: 16 June 2021 / Accepted: 18 June 2021 / Published: 23 June 2021
The overload of health information has been a major challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health authorities play a primary role in managing this information. However, individuals have to apply critical health literacy to evaluate it. The objective of this paper is to identify targets for strengthening critical health literacy by focusing on the field of argumentation theory. This paper is based on the textual analysis of instances of health information through the lens of argumentation theory. The results show that critical health literacy benefits from: (1) understanding the concept of argument and the supporting reasons, (2) identifying the main argument schemes, and (3) the knowledge and use of the main critical questions to check the soundness of arguments. This study operationalizes the main aspects of critical health literacy. It calls for specific educational and training initiatives in the field. Moreover, it argues in favor of broadening the current educational curricula to empower individuals to engage in informed and quality decision making. Strengthening individuals’ critical health literacy involves interventions to empower in argument evaluation. For this purpose, argumentation theory has analytical and normative frameworks that can be adapted within a lay-audience education concept. View Full-Text
Keywords: health information; disinformation; misinformation; health literacy; critical health literacy; health communication; argumentation theory; information appraisal; critical thinking health information; disinformation; misinformation; health literacy; critical health literacy; health communication; argumentation theory; information appraisal; critical thinking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rubinelli, S.; Ort, A.; Zanini, C.; Fiordelli, M.; Diviani, N. Strengthening Critical Health Literacy for Health Information Appraisal: An Approach from Argumentation Theory. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6764. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136764

AMA Style

Rubinelli S, Ort A, Zanini C, Fiordelli M, Diviani N. Strengthening Critical Health Literacy for Health Information Appraisal: An Approach from Argumentation Theory. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(13):6764. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136764

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rubinelli, Sara, Alexander Ort, Claudia Zanini, Maddalena Fiordelli, and Nicola Diviani. 2021. "Strengthening Critical Health Literacy for Health Information Appraisal: An Approach from Argumentation Theory" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 13: 6764. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136764

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