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Health literacy: developing accessible digital interventions Seminar

15:00 - 16:00
13 June 2016
Building 44 (Shackleton), Room 1057 L/T B

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

The past 25 years has seen extraordinary growth in interest in health literacy, but there are important unanswered questions around issues such as defining and measuring health literacy and how best to develop interventions to improve health literacy outcomes. As part of an EU funded project we carried out a study to investigate how best to design digital interventions to improve health literacy outcomes in people with high and low levels of health literacy. A key aim was to evaluate the impact of interactivity and audio-visual features on engagement with the intervention. We therefore developed an interactive web-based intervention and compared it to a plain text version of the intervention in a study of 1041 people from 5 different countries. This seminar will consider and discuss some of the core concepts and issues around health literacy, and discuss key findings from our research.

Speaker information

Professor Don Nutbeam, University of Sydney. I returned to Sydney in February 2016 following a six-year term of office in as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, UK. I now share my time as a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, and a Senior Advisor at the Sax Institute, an independent, not for profit organization dedicated to knowledge transfer for better public policy. My career has spanned positions in universities, government, health services and an independent health research institute. This includes a series of University leadership roles in Australia and the UK, and a period as a senior public servant, Head of Public Health in the UK Department of Health during the Blair government (2000-3). In this latter role I was responsible for managing a large Division of the Department, leading policy development across government on a range of complex and large-scale public health challenges.

Professor Lucy Yardley,Lucy Yardley is Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Southampton and Director of the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology (CAHP). Currently her main research focus is on using the internet to support self-management of health. She pioneered the development of the unique ‘LifeGuide’ open source software for developing web-based intervention (, and led the ‘UBhave’ programme to develop software for creating interventions for mobile phones (the ‘LifeGuide Toolbox’). Her current programme of research addresses key questions such as how to maximise engagement with digital interventions and how best to integrate digital support for self-management of health with existing health promotion and healthcare services. These questions are being addressed by the development and evaluation of numerous web-based healthcare interventions funded by over £30 million from the UK research councils, NIHR, medical charities and EC; these include interventions to support weight management, physical activity, reduction of infection transmission and antibiotic over-use, and self-management of numerous long-term health conditions (including cancer, hypertension, diabetes, back pain and dizziness). She has developed and applied the ‘person-based’ approach to using mixed methods for intervention development, resulting in very effective interventions published in the Lancet, BMJ and Annals of Internal Medicine. She has a longstanding interest in empowering people in the community to take control over their illness and treatment and is a core member of the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) public health committee A.

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