The importance of school intervention programmes in promoting health literacy and healthy lifestyles
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Department of Midwifery, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2021-12-10
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2021;7(Supplement):68
Adolescent school education is a crucial part of societal development, not only for a country's economy but primarily as a critical determinant of population health. Within this context, health literacy plays a vital role as it empowers adolescents to increase control over their health and seek further information and take responsible actions. Hence, health literacy is the self-perceived ability of an individual to access the needed information, understand the information, appraise and apply the knowledge into informed decision making. Indeed, adolescence is a developmental phase in planning health behaviours that will carry into later life. Amongst these health behaviours, tobacco use is a crucial determinant of future health status both due to its detrimental impact on human health and the fact that most adult smokers experiment with cigarettes and establish nicotine addiction during adolescence. Moreover, reproductive health literacy is also essential, especially among females, in which adolescent perceptions may influence reproductive health decisions and menstrual hygiene practices. Within Greece, due to youth experimentation with tobacco and the lack of information on effective reproductive health interventions in school settings, there is a need to assess the current status quo and subsequently design acceptable awareness creation and advocacy programs.