Deakin University

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Identifying Health Literacy Responsiveness Improvement Ideas in Danish Health Centers: Initial Testing of the OS! Approach

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-09, 02:08 authored by A Aaby, HT Maindal
BACKGROUND: Health services hold a critical role in mitigating the effect of health literacy challenges. Several tools and approaches have been developed to support health organizations in responding to their target population's health literacy needs. One of these is the OS! approach, which is an adapted and less rigorous version of the Australian Organizational health literacy responsiveness tool (Org-HLR). In this study, we aimed to report on our initial testing of the OS! approach in two Danish health care settings. BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The OS! aim to prompt and support the development of local organizational health literacy improvement ideas. The process consists of three consecutive workshops focusing on reflection, self-evaluation, and prioritization. For each workshop tools are provided to support implementation. IMPLEMENTATION: The OS! approach was tested in two Danish municipal health centers (Tårnby Health Centre and Frederiksberg Health Centre), where both staff members and leaders took part in the processes (N = 62 and N = 84). In Tårnby, the process was closely facilitated by the research team, while local managers was in charge of the implementation in Frederiksberg. RESULTS: In both settings, the process succeeded in identifying a list of relevant prioritized action ideas aimed at improving local health literacy responsiveness. In both instances, leaders were able to integrate some of these ideas in action plans for the organizations nearby future. LESSONS LEARNED: We found the OS! approach effective in its aim to identify health literacy responsiveness improvement ideas and based on our experience also less arduous to implement than the Org-HLR. We also learned that good implementation of the OS! approach depends strongly on careful facilitation including thorough introduction of the concepts of health literacy, openness, and creativity in relation to local adaptions within the overall framework of the approach, and the consolidation of consistent leader support throughout the organization. [HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. 2022;6(3):e232-e238.] Plain Language Summary: This study describes the initial testing of the OS! APPROACH: The OS! approach is based on the Australian methodology "Org-HLR" and use a participatory approach to prompt and support the identification of local health literacy responsiveness improvement ideas in health care organizations. The article provides valuable experiences regarding local development of organizational health literacy in practice.



Health literacy research and practice






United States







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal