University of Tasmania

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HealthLit4Kids: A primary school program, crossing boundaries for positive health literacy outcomes

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-25, 00:42 authored by Rose NashRose Nash, Shandell ElmerShandell Elmer, Osborne, R, Kira PattersonKira Patterson

Aims: To determine if HealthLit4Kids can affect the health literacy awareness and responsiveness of the school community.

Methods: HL is complex. HealthLit4Kids employs program logic and responds to nine distinct research questions. A sequential mixed methods design involving convenience sampling and pre/post measures from multiple sources was used. Measured variables included teacher health literacy knowledge, skills and experience(KSE); a measure of the school’s health literacy responsiveness (HelloTas); focus groups (parents/teachers); teacher reflections; workshop data/evaluations; and student health literacy artefacts (creative pieces) and their descriptions.

Results: Teachers: Workshop data/evaluation revealed teacher confidence and application of health literacy in the classroom developed over time. Statistically significant improvement in pre/post teacher KSE survey results were attained and supported by teacher reflections. Whole School: Shared definition of HL and improvements on all domains of HeLLOTas at completion. Children: 176 individual artefacts and 10 group artefacts submitted for HealthLit4Kids competition, shared with families/community at School Fair. Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education (ACHPE) areas covered: Mental Health/Wellbeing, Food/Nutrition, Health Benefits of Physical Activity.

Conclusion: Strengths of program include its ability to respond to the health literacy needs of the local community/school, the co-design of solutions with teaching team, and development and subsequent ownership of their school-wide action plan. The empowerment, motivation and engagement gained from a whole-school approach was seen as vital to program success, as was support from the school’s leadership team. Key recommendations: • Involve parents in the conversation at project commencement. • Identify local champions at each school. • Use “teacher speak” instead of health language. • Introduce a 6-12 month follow up to determine program sustainability. • Consider enablers including communication, motivation, resources, time, parental/community involvement.


Tasmanian Community Fund


Publication title

CAPHIA Public Health Teaching & Learning Forum in Cairns


Tasmanian School of Medicine

Event title

CAPHIA Public Health Teaching & Learning Forum in Cairns

Event Venue

Cairns, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health education and promotion; Preventive medicine

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