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Health literacy is broadly defined as a person’s ability to seek, understand and use health information.
The Ophelia project is a three year Victorian initiative which will identify and test new interventions to address health literacy needs in people attending a broad range of Victorian agencies. It is funded by the Australian Research Council ,in partnership with the Victorian Department of Health and Monash University. The project is committed to improving health outcomes and reducing health inequalities for Victorians.
The Ophelia proess provides organisations with a structured approach to recognise, understand and respond to the health literacy needs of members of their community through the following 8 principles.:
The Ophelia Victoria project first measures the different needs of clients using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ), which captures client’s experience, views and capabilities across nine dimensions. This is followed by the collaborative development and testing of new interventions to tackle health literacy issues at both the practitioner and service level.
Phase 1: Project setup Project teams are established at eight project sites. Client groups with potential health literacy needs are identified. Training workshops assist sites in delivering the Health Literacy Questionnaire to capture detailed information on clients’ health literacy needs.
Phase 2: Measure Health Literacy Baseline survey data on the health literacy profile of priority groups are collected using the Health Literacy Questionnaire. Each project site gathers their most experienced front-line practitioners and managers to take part in structured workshops where the health literacy needs of their clients are thoroughly discussed. The front-line staff generate local solutions in responses (interventions) to identified health literacy needs that can be implemented in their organisation at the patient, practitioner, service planner and policy levels.
Phase 3: Pilot interventions Evidence and ideas collected during Phase 2 inform the development of pilot interventions at each project site. These aim to tackle a range of specific health literacy issues faced by client groups. Interventions, and how they are implemented, are informed and refined through the application of ‘Plan, Do, Study, Act’ cycles.
Phase 4: Test interventions The refined interventions will be applied within and across the eight sites. The interventions will be applicable for a wide range of clients eligible to receive diverse services (from health promotion, to community health, to hospital services). A key outcome will be a set of common and specific interventions that are relevant to many clients and organisations across Victoria.
Information and Resources
Page updated 20/06/2013