Developing Health Literate Businesses: A Qualitative Study | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2329-6879

Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs
Open Access

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Research Article

Developing Health Literate Businesses: A Qualitative Study

Kristine Sørensen1*, Katarzyna Czabanowska2, Helmut Brand2

1Maastricht University, The Netherlands

2Department of International Health/CAPHRI, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

*Corresponding Author:
Kristine Sørensen
Assistant Professor
Department of International Health/CAPHRI
Maastricht University, the Netherlands
Tel: +31433881717
Fax :
+31 433881717
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: July 03, 2015; Accepted date: October 02, 2015; Published daet: October 09, 2015

Citation: Sørensen K, Czabanowska K, Brand H (2015) Developing Health Literate Businesses: A Qualitative Study. Occup Med Health Aff 3:216. doi: 10.4172/2329-6879.1000216

Copyright: © 2015 Sørensen K, Czabanowska K, Brand H This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Purpose: In recent years, health and healthy living have become increasingly important issues both in society at large and in the workplace. This study aims to explore how multinational companies develop health literacy strategies in the realm of corporate social responsibility to promote health at work and healthy living.

Methods: In-depth, semi-structured interviews were made with key staff in 14 multinational companies possessing knowledge on the business’ health initiatives and analysed to develop a grounded theory.

Findings:The study resulted in a three- tiered theoretical model implying that in order to improve health literacy businesses should make a clear strategic choice and incorporate health at work as a core value. Health programmes should be based on strategic policies and integrated in core business, rather than as independent health projects. The approach should be sustainable and match the needs of employees including health literacy as an explicit target. Health literacy outcomes should be measured and evaluated to follow the progress and ensure a proper fit between actual needs and the efforts undertaken.

Societal implications: A mind shift is needed at business level to encourage health literate decisions not only in the fitness room, but also in the boardroom as part of corporate social responsibility.

Originality: As only scarce research exists on health literacy and corporate social responsibility, the generated theory provides new perspectives for business actions on health literacy to promote health at work and healthy living.