Our Research

The Population Health Innovation projects focus on addressing health inequities across acute and chronic conditions, and supporting academic institutions, health services and governments to innovate and embed sustainable solutions to local issues. 

Key research and innovation areas include:

Measurement to generate change

If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it

The Population Health Innovation has developed several tools that are used globally. Development of these tools starts with careful consultation with stakeholders followed by creation of conceptual models grounded in the real world experiences of healthcare consumers, practitioners and policy makers. The Population Health Innovation has advanced the theory and practice of measurement through shaping the validity-driven approach. The tools developed through this approach are used for the purposes of epidemiological surveys, evaluation, needs assessment, and to inform intervention development.

1.1 Health Education Impact Questionnaire (heiQ) 

Health Education Impact Questionnaire logo
Used in over 30 countries and translated to over 20 languages, this is now one of the most widely used and validated tools for the evaluation of health education programs. It has been used in national evaluation and within disease specific randomised controlled trials. For more information about the heiQ, including translations.

HeiQ measures the intended outcomes of health education and self-management programs. It consists of 40 questions organised into eight independent scales. Each scale measures an aspect of the program. Each scalesists of 40 questions organisedsed for the evaluation of health education programs. It ls and groups who do not access or benefit.

  1. Health directed activities
  2. Positive and active engagement in life
  3. Emotional distress
  4. Self-monitoring and insight
  5. Constructive attitudes and approaches
  6. Skill and technique acquisition
  7. Social integration and support
  8. Health service navigation

Also available are 9 course quality questions that assist course leaders and managers to improve the quality of service delivery. Quality improvement activities and customer satisfaction can be tracked over time.

heiQ Registration
A licence issued by Deakin University is required to use the heiQ, and a fee applies. Please complete the registration form and submit it as instructed on the form. The heiQ administration team will contact you to proceed with your licence request. Upon approval of the licence, you will be provided with the heiQ and supporting documents.

heiQ International
The heiQ is used in many countries by many different kinds of organisations. It has undergone rigorous validation processes in many contexts and settings and is proven to be psychometrically robust. 
 
As well as English, the heiQ (version 3) is available in Bulgarian, Dutch, French (Canada), French (France), Greek, Norwegian, Samoan, Spanish, and Sinhalese (Sri Lanka). This list is updated as more translations are made. If you need the heiQ in another language, please ask about our licence to translate the heiQ. All versions of the heiQ, including translations, remain the property of Deakin University, however particular licence conditions may apply to organisations that assist with translation.

1.2 Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ)

Health Literacy Questionnaire logoThe HLQ is now one of the most widely used multi-dimensional health literacy assessment tools. It is used widely in Europe, North America and Asia and has been translated to over 15 languages. It provides a measure of nine health literacy constructs and can be used to measure health literacy for the purposes of programme evaluation, needs assessment, epidemiological surveys, and intervention development.

Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ)
The HLQ measures the health literacy needs of individuals, groups and populations. It consists of 44 questions organised into nine independent scales. Each scale measures an aspect of health literacy. Each scale's score is independent of the other scales so that individual whole scales (no items removed) can be used for certain purposes.

hlq-image 

HLQ Registration
A licence issued by Deakin University is required to use the HLQ, and a fee applies. Please complete the registration form and submit it as instructed on the form. The HLQ administration team will contact you to proceed with your licence request. Upon approval of the licence, you will be provided with the HLQ and supporting documents.

HLQ International
The HLQ is used in many countries by many different kinds of organisations. Rigorous validation processes have occurred in different contexts and settings and the HLQ has been proven to be psychometrically robust. 

As well as English, the HLQ is available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French (Canada), French (France), German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish (Argentina), Spanish (Spain) and Vietnamese. This list is updated as more translations are made. If you need the HLQ in another language, please ask about our licence to translate the HLQ. All versions of the HLQ, including translations, remain the property of Deakin University, however particular licence conditions may apply to organisations that assist with translation.

1.3 Information and Support for Health Questionnaire (ISHAQ)

 The ISHAQ is a multi-dimensional health literacy questionnaire developed to measure health literacy in low- and middle-income country settings, and in cultures where decision-making about health occurs as a collective activity of family or peer groups. The ISHAQ has fourteen core scales and ten supplementary scales for people with chronic illnesses, people with a physical disability, people who are blind and people who are deaf. For more information about the ISHAQ, including translations.

1.4 Excellence in translation, cultural adaptation and measurement adaption

The Population Health Innovation has vast experience in questionnaire translation. Translation processes developed and refined by Population Health Innovation (through over 70 adaptations to most languages groups in the world) ensure measurement integrity is maintained when tools are adapted to new languages and cultures. The Population Health Innovation continue to undertake cultural and linguistic translation of tools and to refine the translation process.

Health Literacy: a mediator of health behaviour and service engagement

Health literacy refers to the personal characteristics and social resources needed for individuals and communities to access, understand, appraise and use information and services to make decisions about health, or that have implications for health. Health literacy includes the capacity to communicate, assert and enact these decisions. Health literacy responsiveness describes the way in which services make health information, resources, supports and environments available and accessible to people with different health literacy strengths and limitations.
 
PHI is a recognised global leader in the study of health literacy and the development of health literacy responses. PHI led the development of the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ), the Information and Support for Health Actions Questionnaire (ISHAQ), the Ophelia Approach, and Health Literacy Toolkit for Low- and Middle-Income Countries (in partnership with the South East Asia Regional Office of the World Health Organisation (WHO),)

2.1 Ophelia – OPtimising HEalth LIteracy and Access

Ophelia logo
The Ophelia Approach is a system that supports the identification of community health literacy needs, and the development and testing of potential solutions. It allows easy application of evidence-based health promotion approaches to the field of health literacy. The Ophelia Approach involves the collaboration of a wide range of community members, community leaders, and workers to develop health literacy interventions that are based on needs identified within a community. Each Ophelia project seeks to improve health and equity by increasing the availability and accessibility of health information and services in locally-appropriate ways. The Ophelia Approach has been applied in Australia, Thailand, and South Africa, and projects are now underway in the UK, and Europe. For further information about the Ophelia Approach, please visit www.ophelia.net.au
 
2.1.1 Ophelia Victoria

Ophelia Victoria is the Ophelia flagship project. It is funded through an Australian Research Council Partnership grant, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Deakin University, in collaboration with Monash University. The project has partners across eight Victorian health services (local government, community health centres and hospitals). Ophelia Victoria is informing the development of a Health Literacy Response Framework in Victoria. For further information contact alison.beauchamp@deakin.edu.au

 (Paper) The OPtimising HEalth LIterAcy (Ophelia) process: study protocol for using health literacy profiling and community engagement to create and implement health reform. Batterham RW, Buchbinder R, Beauchamp A, Dodson S, Elsworth GR, Osborne RH. BMC Public Health 2014, 14:694

The Ophelia website www.ophelia.net.au

2.1.2 Cancer services improvement – The Ophelia Grampians project 

This project is a partnership with Ballarat Health Services, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Grampian Integrated Cancer Services, and the many cancer service providers across the Grampians region of Victoria. Initiated in 2014, people at risk of cancer and people who have had a diagnosis of cancer have been engaged in activities that seek to understand their health literacy strengths and challenges and their experiences of cancer care. The insights gained will guide future quality improvement initiatives. 

2.1.3 Improvement in uptake of BreastScreen services – Western Melbourne

This project is a partnership with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and BreastScreen Victoria. Initiated in 2015, the project is working with women from Arabic- and Italian-speaking backgrounds, women with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, and women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to develop strategies to improve the uptake of breast screening and the experience of screening for women in Western Melbourne.

2.2 Education and training

The Population Health Innovation team frequently delivers workshops and training programs in health literacy, including the popular Masterclass. For details of upcoming training in health literacy, please visit www.ophelia.net.au.

2.3 Other health literacy activities

Other health literacy activities include: 

  • 2.3.1 Patient Groups and Health Conditions
    The HLQ is a key starting point in several studies looking at the needs and experiences of patient groups and health consumers. Studies include those living with cancer, heart disease and infectious diseases such as HIV.
  • 2.3.2 International Contexts
    Several studies are looking at the use and adaptation of health literacy measures tin different contexts and cultures.
  • 2.3.3 Cultural Issues and Migrant Populations
    Several studies are looking at cultural perspectives and the particular health literacy challenges and strengths of different cultural groups (in interaction with the health and social service system they have access to). This includes working with migrants to Melbourne from Somalia, China and India.

Chronic disease interventions, self-management support (including SteppingUp)

The Population Health Innovation is active in creating, applying and evaluating chronic disease self-management and education programs. The heiQ is one of the most widely used evaluation tools in the world. This experience, along with partnerships with peak bodies, use of extensive grounded approaches to intervention development and careful attention to implementation science, has led to the creation of an innovative patient- and provider-centred approach to self-management support.  

3.1 SteppingUp

SteppingUp is a web-based program designed to improve quality of life and engagement of people living with a wide range of long-term conditions. This self-management intervention was co-created with patients, clinicians, non-government organisations and policymakers. Evaluation of SteppingUp indicated that it has a very strong impact consumer on QoL, experience of symptoms, mental health, and self-management. Current and emerging versions include:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions. This is the original version of SteppingUp and was undertaken with funding from beyondblue and in partnership with the Arthritis Australia Victoria and Monash University.
  • HIV. SteppingUp has been integrated into a large multi-site cluster randomised controlled trial to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV. This work is being undertaken in partnerships with Monash University within a NHMRC Partnership project.
  • Endometriosis. SteppingUp is being adapted to support women managing endometriosis. This work is funded by the Jean Hailes Foundation.
  • Kidney health. In partnership with Eastern Health, the adaptation of SteppingUp for chronic kidney disease is ongoing.
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