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Special Issue "Health Communication Interventions and Health Literacy in the 21st Century"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Communication and Informatics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2022 | Viewed by 5442

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carel Jansen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Communication and Information Studies, University of Groningen, 9712 CP Groningen, The Netherlands
Interests: health communication; health literacy; narratives; fear appeals; comprehensibility
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Andrea F. de Winter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 30.001, FA10, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands
Interests: the role of health literacy and communication to promote person- and patient-centered prevention and care
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Burt Davis
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Assistant Guest Editor
Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management, Stellenbosch University, 3V87+VQ Stellenbosch, South Africa
Interests: health-based document analysis and design; health communication and promotion in underserved communities; narratives; fear appeals; impact of HIV in the workplace; HIV-related policy and program development and design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Theoretical and experimental research has contributed a lot to our knowledge of the determinants of success of persuasive messages in health communication. However, communication professionals in this field still face great challenges when trying to develop messages that effectively change the behavior of large groups of people. This is evident, for example, from present-day problems in persuading people to adhere to the guidelines for containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific difficulties emerge when trying to reach groups with a low level of health literacy.

This Special Issue will report studies into the effects of theory-based health communication interventions in groups with a low level of health literacy, preferably compared with the effects of the same interventions in other groups. We also welcome, for instance, studies on the co-creation of new interventions or qualitative studies to understand perspectives of vulnerable groups to inform communication interventions.

We expect authors not only to discuss the significance of their findings for the practice of health communication, but also to pay close attention to the contribution of their research to the theoretical framework they have chosen as a starting point, and to the upliftment of the groups/communities they have studied.

Prof. Dr. Carel Jansen
Dr. Andrea F. de Winter
Dr. Burt Davis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • health communication
  • health literacy
  • health promotion
  • intervention
  • persuasion

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Co-Creation of a Multi-Component Health Literacy Intervention Targeting Both Patients with Mild to Severe Chronic Kidney Disease and Health Care Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413354 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Limited health literacy (LHL) is common in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and frequently associated with worse self-management. Multi-component interventions targeted at patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) are recommended, but evidence is limited. Therefore, this study aims to determine the objectives and strategies [...] Read more.
Limited health literacy (LHL) is common in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and frequently associated with worse self-management. Multi-component interventions targeted at patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) are recommended, but evidence is limited. Therefore, this study aims to determine the objectives and strategies of such an intervention, and to develop, produce and evaluate it. For this purpose, we included CKD patients with LHL (n = 19), HCPs (n = 15), educators (n = 3) and students (n = 4) from general practices, nephrology clinics and universities in an Intervention Mapping (IM) process. The determined intervention objectives especially address the patients’ competences in maintaining self-management in the long term, and communication competences of patients and HCPs. Patients preferred visual strategies and strategies supporting discussion of needs and barriers during consultations to written and digital strategies. Moreover, they preferred an individual approach to group meetings. We produced a four-component intervention, consisting of a visually attractive website and topic-based brochures, consultation cards for patients, and training on LHL for HCPs. Evaluation revealed that the intervention was useful, comprehensible and fitting for patients’ needs. Healthcare organizations need to use visual strategies more in patient education, be careful with digitalization and group meetings, and train HCPs to improve care for patients with LHL. Large-scale research on the effectiveness of similar HL interventions is needed. Full article
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Article
Estimating Patient Empowerment and Nurses’ Use of Digital Strategies: eSurvey Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9844; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189844 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1053
Abstract
Patient empowerment is seen as the capability to understand health information and make decisions based on it. It is a competence that can improve self-care, adherence and overall health. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for information and has also reduced the [...] Read more.
Patient empowerment is seen as the capability to understand health information and make decisions based on it. It is a competence that can improve self-care, adherence and overall health. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for information and has also reduced the number of visits to health centers. Nurses have had to adapt in order to continue offering quality care in different environments such as the digital world, but this entails assessing the level of their patients’ empowerment and adapting material and educational messages to new realities. The aim of this study is, on the one hand, to assess nurses’ use of digital resources to provide reinforcing information to their patients and, on the other hand, to evaluate how they assess the level of empowerment of their patients. To perform the study, 850 nurses answered 21 questions related to their own digital literacy and patients’ empowerment. The ability to make decisions is the characteristic most selected by nurses (70%) as useful in measuring patient empowerment, whereas 9.19% do not measure it in any way. Printed material is most often used by nurses to offer additional information to patients (71.93%), mobile applications are the least used option (21.58%), and elder nurses are those who most recommend digital resources. In this study, younger nurses make little or no use of technology as a resource for training and monitoring patients. In spite of some limitations concerning the study, digital health needs to be promoted as an indisputable tool in the nurse’s briefcase in the future to ensure that older patients can manage electronic resources in different fields. Full article
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Article
Deploying a Fotonovela to Combat Methamphetamine Abuse among South Africans with Varying Levels of Health Literacy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126334 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1193
Abstract
Poor health literacy in the Western Cape Province of South Africa is one of the main factors hampering methamphetamine (MA) use prevention efforts in the area, where the abuse of this drug is a major health and social problem affecting especially previously disadvantaged [...] Read more.
Poor health literacy in the Western Cape Province of South Africa is one of the main factors hampering methamphetamine (MA) use prevention efforts in the area, where the abuse of this drug is a major health and social problem affecting especially previously disadvantaged communities. In the first part of a two-part study, we compared a health-related fotonovela about MA to an existing brochure group and a control group. Main findings show that the vast majority of readers preferred the fotonovela over the existing brochure. This included participants from all three age groups and for both levels of health literacy (low/high) distinguished (n = 372). Furthermore, specifically for older people with low levels of health literacy, the fotonovela outperformed the existing brochure condition for knowledge level. In the second part of the study, we found that healthcare providers (n = 75) strongly prefer a fotonovela over an existing brochure, while this cohort viewed the potential use of fotonovelas in a health care setting as very positive. Our findings add to the promising results of an earlier fotonovela study about MA use in South Africa, providing further support for considering using narratives in health communication as a serious option to effectively communicate convincing health information about this drug to target audiences in the Western Cape Province. Full article
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Article
Improving Health Literacy Responsiveness: A Randomized Study on the Uptake of Brochures on Doctor-Patient Communication in Primary Health Care Waiting Rooms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 5025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18095025 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
Presenting attractive and useful health education materials in waiting rooms can help improve an organization’s health literacy responsiveness. However, it is unclear to what extent patients may be interested in health education materials, such as brochures. We conducted a three-week field study in [...] Read more.
Presenting attractive and useful health education materials in waiting rooms can help improve an organization’s health literacy responsiveness. However, it is unclear to what extent patients may be interested in health education materials, such as brochures. We conducted a three-week field study in waiting rooms of three primary care centers in Groningen. Three versions of a brochure on doctor-patient communication were randomly distributed, 2250 in total. One version contained six short photo stories, another version was non-narrative but contained comparable photos, and the third version was a traditional brochure. Each day we counted how many brochures were taken. We also asked patients (N = 471) to participate in a brief interview. Patients who consented (N = 390) were asked if they had noticed the brochure. If yes (N = 135), they were asked why they had or had not browsed the brochure, and why they had or had not taken it. Interview responses were categorized by two authors. Only 2.9% of the brochures were taken; no significant association with brochure version was found. Analysis of the interview data showed that the version with the photo narrative was noticed significantly more often than the non-narrative version or the traditional version. These results suggest that designing attractive and comprehensible health materials is not enough. Healthcare organizations should also create effective strategies to reach their target population. Full article
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