It is documented that marginalized populations in Europe have a higher share of health problems, including obesity and diet related diseases. These groups may have problems in terms of understanding health messages and interact with the health care system in an efficient way. Low health literacy skills have been associated with higher risk of developing disease and receiving poor treatment. Barriers in the communication can be related to the use of difficult medical terms, reliance on written material and lack of appropriate tailoring to the person’s practical situation or cultural preferences, or the person may have poor knowledge of the language used (i.e. immigrants/minority groups). Use of visual material and demonstration of relevant practical skills accompanied by simple language has been shown to give better compliance with the health promotion communication. During the two-year project period, the eQUITY consortium, which comprises higher education institutions teamed with health care centres in five European countries, aim to develop strategies to train health care workers (HCW) in evidence based strategies for communication and counselling with marginalized groups.
The project is expected to develop and evaluate a model for communication and counselling with marginalised groups which can be used by HCW to address health inequalities. The eQUITY model will also encourage continuous learning and professional development based on evidence.
The project will summarise and make assessable evidence based models for communication and counselling using mobile learning objects, containing for instance pictures, models and movies. This will include making an e-journal to transfer evidence based knowledge to the front line HCW. The platform will include social network functions to enable swapping of skills and mentoring of colleagues, using and sharing evidence based communication strategies involving mobile learning and e-learning tools.
1) To develop a platform for onsite counselling methods in primary health care using mobile learning tools.
2) To develop a model for transfer and exchange of key competencies within and across countries.
3) To develop a training programme for HCW in how use to the tools for onsite counselling.
The project targets health care workers across Europe and related profession working with combating inequality in health.