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Reading: Reducing Patient-Disengagement by Tailoring Health Literacy


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Conference Abstracts

Reducing Patient-Disengagement by Tailoring Health Literacy


Angela Kinsella

Health Change Australia, Clontarf, NSW, AU
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1. Introduction

Many health services report high no-show rates and low enrolment numbers for group self-management programs. Statistics also indicate there is poor adherence to evidence-based treatment recommendations across various healthcare settings. This presentation will provide examples of how health services have used a systematic methodology to deliver health literacy for better patient engagement.

2. Practice-change

Service delivery changes were implemented after organisations used a person-centred care methodology to analyse current clinical practice and administrative processes. Scripts were developed for telephone-based support programs, changes to information sent to referrers and customised checklists developed to assist clinicians to prioritise and check health literacy information.

3. Aim

Many behaviour change models and theories exist. However, how do clinicians know when to use which aspects of these models with the client sitting in front of them? The HealthChange® Methodology bridges the gap between behaviour change theory and practice by guiding clinicians to enhance the patient’s health literacy in a way that builds their motivation.

 4. Target population

The Methodology is suited to clinical consultations, care planning and co-ordination; patient education, rehabilitation and telephone-based programs. It applies to any health consultation and suits staff who enrol patients within the programs as well as the front-line clinicians delivering the services. Examples of research trials with improved patient engagement will be presented. 

5. Timeline

Implementation can take a few days to a several months depending on the context. Various projects timelines will be discussed.

6. Highlights


Results from a study showed 72% of patients referred to the program actively engaged in it. It documented that 51% of patients had their surgery deferred due to poor self-management after being on the waitlist for 12 months, but only 34% of patients were deferred post-HealthChange® Methodology implementation. Cardiac-related deferrals declined from 29% to 10%. Further insights will be presented.

7. Sustainability

Clinical practice change requires regular on-going support and some organisations have implemented the Train-the-Trainer Model while others have created dedicated roles to health-behaviour change. 

8. Transferability

Once the HealthChange® Methodology is learned; it is easily applied across contexts and roles. It is a flexible framework with transferable principles and associated skills.

9. Conclusions


To achieve effective change at the clinical practice level, clinicians need more support, the HealthChange® Methodology is one way of supporting this change process. Patient data shows improved patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) across a range of services and disciplines. It appears to indicate that embedding a systematic person-centred practice methodology adds value to any health service delivery.

10. Discussions  11. Lessons learned

Front-line service providers find it easier if they receive structured assistance that assists them in identifying key health literacy messages for overall improved patient engagement and service success. It is a flexible, patient-centred framework that makes it easier for clinicians to help patients to obtain better health outcomes. The adaptation of programs and services to align with HealthChange® Methodology achieves improvements in patient outcomes and satisfaction as well as improved clinician satisfaction, reduced staff burnout and turnover.

How to Cite: Kinsella A. Reducing Patient-Disengagement by Tailoring Health Literacy. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;20(S1):137. DOI:
Published on 25 Feb 2021.


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