A scoping review: global health literacy interventions for pregnant women and mothers with young children


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The World Health Organization is focused on enhancing health literacy (HL) throughout the life-course to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally. Pregnancy and early motherhood offer a window of opportunity to address NCDs risk earlier in the life-course. Empowering women through HL may help to reduce the intergenerational impact of NCDs. A scoping review of the international literature was conducted to identify HL interventions that focused on improving NCD-related health outcomes or health behaviors of pregnant women and/or mothers with young children. The search was conducted on 4 databases and identified 5019 articles. After full text screening, 25 studies met the inclusion criteria. No study acknowledged their intervention as an HL intervention, even though they were assessed as targeting various HL dimensions. Only one study measured the HL of mothers. The review suggests that HL interventions are being underutilized and highlight the need to create awareness about the importance of addressing HL of pregnant women and mothers using appropriate tools to understand HL strengths and challenges in achieving healthy lifestyle practices. This can help to co-design locally responsive solutions that may enable women to make informed healthier lifestyle choices for themselves and for their children and thus may accelerate prevention of NCDs globally.
health literacy, non-communicable disease, health promotion, pregnancy, maternal and child health
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