2015 Health Promotion Conference. Health Literacy: Research, Policy & Practice | 18 June 2015
Workshop Descriptions

Workshops will be held in the afternoon at 2.50. Workshop descriptions are below. Workshop places are limited and you must sign up for a workshop at the registration desk beforehand.



Workshop 1:

Experiences and lessons learnt from implementing a health literacy environmental assessment in an Irish Hospital setting


Laura McHugh, HSE West and Priscilla Doyle, HPRC, NUI Galway



Written words in leaflets, letters and forms, website communication and spoken words in conversations are part of the literacy requirements of healthcare settings and are part of the environment, along with signage for navigation through health care settings. Health literacy environmental assessment tools aim to identify high literacy requirements that particularly disadvantage those with low health literacy. Health care organizations, well positioned to address health literacy, are beginning to shift their systems and policies to support health literacy efforts (Weaver, Wray, Zellin, Gautam, & Jupka, 2012)1.


As part of a European research project (IROHLA), NUIG with University Hospital Galway implemented an Irish health literacy environmental assessment tool. This participatory workshop aims to share experiences and lessons learnt in relation to the evaluation of the implementation process and the assessment results from the perspective of both the hospital and a small sample of older adult service users. It will explore what factors may facilitate or hinder the implementation of a health literacy environmental assessment in healthcare organizations and the opportunities for achieving desired outcomes.


Rapporteur: Kathryn Meade, HSE



Workshop 2: Developing policy in Health Literacy Workshop


Graham Kramer, GP & National Clinical Lead for Self-management and Health Literacy, Scottish Government



There is good understanding on the relationship health literacy has on engagement with health and healthcare, and the effect on health outcomes. However, there is no clear understanding on how to comprehensively address the problem. This creates challenges to policy makers.


This participatory workshop will aim to explore how policy could promote the development of a health literate society. It will explore what pragmatic actions can be taken in Ireland to address health literacy and prioritise those actions according to their potential impact. It will explore what opportunities exist to implement these actions and embed them within communities and health and care organisations. 


Rapporteur: Lorraine Burke, NUI Galway



Workshop 3: Using plain English to write clearer health information


Claire O’Riordan, National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)



Plain English is a way to present information so that a reader can understand it the first time they read it. The facilitator will present research findings on how plain English improves health literacy.


This workshop will allow participants to critique health information material and to practise plain English writing techniques such as using everyday language, writing information concisely and using personal pronouns. Bring a pen! If this workshop interests you, please visit www.simpyput.ie before you attend the workshop.


Rapporteur: Laura Molloy HSE



Workshop 4: The Crystal Clear Mark: Health Literacy in GP and Pharmacy Settings


Aoife O’Driscoll, National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)



In March, NALA and MSD launched Ireland’s first health literacy quality mark – the Crystal Clear Pharmacy and General Practice Programme. The programme was developed to recognise the critical role pharmacies and general practices play in helping patients understand their health issues, and how to improve their health. A Crystal Clear Mark can now be awarded to pharmacies and general practices that show their commitment to providing a health literacy friendly service – a service that takes regularly reviews the literacy and numeracy needs of their patients.


This workshop will provide an overview of the Crystal Clear Programme and looks at tools that are helpful in auditing and improving health literacy in healthcare settings. We will also look at the recent health literacy findings in Ireland. For example, almost two in five (39%) Irish people are calling for doctors, nurses and pharmacists to use more understandable language and less medical jargon. And, 17% of people have taken the wrong amount of medication on at least one occasion.


This workshop will explore health literacy and focus on the practical actions that you can take to improve health services.


Rapporteur: Aileen Scott, HSE



Workshop 5: Targeting health literacy research at policy makers


Jane Sixsmith, HPRC, NUI Galway



Practice is governed by policy and therefore those that make policy, ‘policy makers’ need to have clear and succinct messaging around key components and outcomes of research.


The Intervention Research On Health Literacy and the Aging Population project (IROHLA), a European research project, is near completion and the results are being formulated into accessible messages for policy makers. This workshop will use draft outputs from this active research project to develop skills in assimilating and distilling information targeted at policy makers.


Rapporteur: Verna McKenna, NUI Galway





Workshop 6: Health Literacy Research: knowledge transfer and policy translation


Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, HPRC, NUI Galway



The intrinsic value of research is in its application into policy and/or practice. There is increasing interest in the translation of knowledge into practice and its subsequent influence on policy development.


This workshops aims to explore key factors which underpin successful knowledge transfer, the enablers which lead to excellence and the inhibiters which limit success.


Rapporteur: Ursula Kenny, NUI Galway




Workshop 7: Student Workshop: Health-literate settings
(Invited workshop for students only)


Helen Grealish, PhD Student, NUI Galway


Health-literate settings infuse awareness of and action to strengthen health literacy throughout the policies, procedures and practices of the settings (WHO, 2013). These settings include: workplaces, education and healthcare settings. This workshop aims to increase undergraduate and post graduate students’ awareness of Health-literate settings.

Rapporteur: Áine O’Brien, NUI Galway