Health Literacy


Jaap Koot is an international expert in health literacy. Health literacy is decribed as the total of competencies that people have to obtain, process and utilise health information in making health and healthcare related decisions. People have to manage their own health and when they fall ill their disease. Not all people have sufficient competencies. People with lower education, with a lower social  or economic status face problems. Also culteral factors play a role.
Tackling health literacy issues means supporting people to become more health literate (empowerment).  In addition, health services have  to provide simple and easily accessible health information (communication). Improved health literacy helps vulnerable groups to claim their rights and access to healthcare.  

 Jaap Koot works in the University of Groningen on a European programme for improvement of health literacy among the ageing population. The progress of the of this project is shown on the website of the IROHLA project.
Jaap Koot was invited to give presentations in universities abroad about this topic. 

Comprehensive approach in tackling health literacy

Jaap Koot is working with other experts on a model for comrehensive approach of health literacy.

Alliance for Health Literacy

As director of the Netherlands Institute for Health Promotion Jaap Koot started the Dutch Alliance for Health Literacy, in which by now more than 60 Dutch organisations in healthcare participate. The alliance serves as a platform for exchange, joint action and lobby. 

In November 2011 Jaap Koot presented  the alliance in a European Conference on Health Literacy hosted by the European Parliament. He also wrote a summary of the work of the alliance for WHO. 


jaap@kootphc.nl © Jaap Koot 2013