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Health literacy and the framing of health messages in the gay community

Bellaby, Paul and Goldring, John E. and MacKian, Sara (2007) Health literacy and the framing of health messages in the gay community. Economic & Social Research Council.

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Abstract

An aim of current UK health policy is to ‘fully engage’ not only sick but also well people in pursuit of health (Wanless 2004). In this policy discourse, it is assumed that ‘health literacy’ is one of the vehicles for achieving that full engagement: namely, individuals must understand the best information about how to pursue health, not only have access to it. The present project focuses on three related issues: (1) how health information is ‘framed’, and (2) how that information is understood, evaluated and acted on by those who receive it and (3) in light of the results, what dimensions ‘health literacy’ must have if changes in health-related behaviour are to ensue. Our focus is men’s health. It is widely recognised that men are less likely to engage with their own health than women with theirs. We choose gay men as a critical case. We single out varieties of gay men in Manchester and specifically the health issues they share with other men.

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