To get to know each other, I shall first introduce myself. Hi, my name is Marlies Casteleijn, 24 years old and I am a second year Health & Society Master student. Vancouver will be my home for the coming five months, since I will write my thesis for the Bridge for Health organization. The project I am involved in is called the Bridge 4 Health Literacy Project, which aims at enhancing youth’s health status.
To be specific, I am going to do research with regard to health literacy among youth. Health literacy is a health promotion term, and related to the extent that people are able to access, understand, appraise and apply health information in order to positively influence their health and wellbeing. A lot of research has been conducted among adults and health literacy, where research shows a positive relation between the extent of health literacy of a person and their health status: the higher one’s health literacy, the lower the changes of sickness, morbidity, unhealthy behavior and healthcare use- and costs. However, research among youth and health literacy has not received as much attention, resulting in several research gaps. One of the goals of my thesis is to bridge these research gaps by increasing the knowledge available with regard to youth and health literacy. By conducting an extensive literature study and a needs assessment among youth, my research aims to contribute to these needed insights. As mentioned before, my thesis will be part of a larger project, where my research will hopefully lead to the needed information for the further stages of the long-term project. I am really excited and honored to be part of the Bridge for Health Literacy Project, and I can’t wait to get started. Are you interested in this project and my adventures in Vancouver/Canada? Follow me and stay tuned!