Objective: Skills to address different health literacy problems are lacking among health professionals. We sought to develop and pilot test a comprehensive health literacy communication training for various health professionals in Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands.
Methods: Thirty health professionals participated in the study. A literature review focused on evidence-informed training-components. Focus group discussions (FGDs) explored perspectives from seventeen professionals on a prototype-program, and feedback from thirteen professionals following pilot-training. Pre-post questionnaires assessed self-rated health literacy communication skills.
Results: The literature review yielded five training-components to address functional, interactive and critical health literacy: health literacy education, gathering and providing information, shared decision-making, enabling self-management, and supporting behaviour change. In FGDs, professionals endorsed the prototype-program and reported that the pilot-training increased knowledge and patient-centred communication skills in addressing health literacy, as shown by self-rated pre-post questionnaires.
Conclusion: A comprehensive training for health professionals in three European countries enhances perceived skills to address functional, interactive and critical health literacy.
Practice implications: This training has potential for wider application in education and practice in Europe. (c) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.