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HealthLit4Kids: Supporting schools to be health literacy responsive organisations


Elmer, S and Nash, R and Kemp, N and Coleman, C and Wyss, M and Roach, J, HealthLit4Kids: Supporting schools to be health literacy responsive organisations, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 32, (S1) pp. 17-28. ISSN 2201-1617 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Australian Health Promotion Association

DOI: doi:10.1002/hpja.412


Issue addressed: To reduce inequity, services and community organisations must respond to the health literacy needs and strengths of each individual accessing their services. As a social determinant, health literacy is compounded by interactions between the service provider, the individual, and their wider community. Schools provide a critical nexus between the teacher (as service provider), the student (as learner) and their family (carers and wider community) to support the development of children's health literacy.

Methods: Five Tasmanian primary schools (84 teachers) completed an assessment of their school in relation to the domains of a health literate organisation using the HeLLOTas! (HEalth Literacy Learning Organisations Tasmania) Self‐Assessment Checklist, before and after taking part in the HealthLit4Kids program.

Results: While the differences between pre‐ and post‐intervention ratings were not large, they moved in a positive direction for all six domains. There was a significant main effect of time, F (1, 4) = 83.9, P < .001, ƞ2 = 0.99, showing that overall ratings increased from before to after the intervention. Teacher‐recommended actions across all schools were grouped for insight into their interpretation and application of the tool in the school context.

Conclusion: Using the HeLLOTas! Self‐Assessment Checklist served a dual purpose. Teachers developed a shared understanding of the characteristics of a health‐literate organisation to produce a schoolwide action plan. Simultaneously, we gained valuable insights into the processes required to support the development of organisational health literacy in schools, and we share ten propositions applicable to other schools locally, nationally and internationally.

So what? To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a school's health literacy responsiveness has been measured. Our key propositions will support future efforts by policy makers, researchers and school principals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:HealthLit4Kids, health literacy, health education, schools, student engagement
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Nash, R (Dr Rosie Nash)
UTAS Author:Kemp, N (Associate Professor Nenagh Kemp)
UTAS Author:Coleman, C (Miss Crystal Coleman)
ID Code:141193
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2020-10-02
Last Modified:2021-04-28

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