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Which providers can bridge the health literacy gap in lifestyle risk factor modification education: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

  • Sarah Dennis1Email author,
  • Anna Williams1,
  • Jane Taggart1,
  • Anthony Newall2,
  • Elizabeth Denney-Wilson1,
  • Nicholas Zwar2,
  • Tim Shortus1 and
  • Mark F Harris1
BMC Family PracticeBMC series ¿ open, inclusive and trusted201213:44

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-13-44

Received: 14 February 2012

Accepted: 12 April 2012

Published: 28 May 2012

Abstract

Background

People with low health literacy may not have the capacity to self-manage their health and prevent the development of chronic disease through lifestyle risk factor modification. The aim of this narrative synthesis is to determine the effectiveness of primary healthcare providers in developing health literacy of patients to make SNAPW (smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and weight) lifestyle changes.

Methods

Studies were identified by searching Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Joanna Briggs Institute, Psychinfo, Web of Science, Scopus, APAIS, Australian Medical Index, Community of Science and Google Scholar from 1 January 1985 to 30 April 2009. Health literacy and related concepts are poorly indexed in the databases so a list of text words were developed and tested for use. Hand searches were also conducted of four key journals. Studies published in English and included males and females aged 18 years and over with at least one SNAPW risk factor for the development of a chronic disease. The interventions had to be implemented within primary health care, with an aim to influence the health literacy of patients to make SNAPW lifestyle changes. The studies had to report an outcome measure associated with health literacy (knowledge, skills, attitudes, self efficacy, stages of change, motivation and patient activation) and SNAPW risk factor.

The definition of health literacy in terms of functional, communicative and critical health literacy provided the guiding framework for the review.

Results

52 papers were included that described interventions to address health literacy and lifestyle risk factor modification provided by different health professionals. Most of the studies (71%, 37/52) demonstrated an improvement in health literacy, in particular interventions of a moderate to high intensity.

Non medical health care providers were effective in improving health literacy. However this was confounded by intensity of intervention. Provider barriers impacted on their relationship with patients.

Conclusion

Capacity to provide interventions of sufficient intensity is an important condition for effective health literacy support for lifestyle change. This has implications for workforce development and the organisation of primary health care.

Keywords

Health literacy Lifestyle risk factor modification Primary health care

Background

The Australian National Primary Health Care Strategy [1] and Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Australian Better Health Initiative (ABHI) include key priority areas that focus on improved chronic disease prevention and screening of those with at least one risk factor for chronic disease [1]. Integral to achieving this is to increase health literacy particularly in relation to modifying the behavioural risk factors of smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and weight (SNAPW). The SNAPW risk factors are major contributing factors to the development of chronic disease worldwide [24] and are the focus of a number of international policy initiatives such as the US Healthy People 2010 initiative.

Health literacy is described as the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health [5]. Low levels of literacy in the Australian population are a significant problem with recent figures indicating that less than half (48%) of the adult population reached the minimum level of literacy and numeracy required to function on a daily basis in today’s society [68]. This is consistent with research from UK and USA where 46% and 47% of the population respectively achieved the minimum level of literacy necessary [9, 10]. The picture is even worse in people from low socioeconomic backgrounds and this further compounds their disadvantage [6, 11]. Health literacy, as defined by Nutbeam [12] is likely to be present at much lower levels than literacy and numeracy. High levels of health literacy are associated with specific health promoting behaviours such as eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day or being a non-smoker independently of age, education, gender, ethnicity or income [13, 14].

Simply providing people with information alone about modifying SNAPW risk factors is not usually enough to bring about lifestyle change [15]. Rather, a partnership approach between patients and providers, based on shared decision making and good communication, may be necessary for developing a sense of confidence and ability to change [12, 16]. Without adequate health literacy people may not have the capacity to self-manage their health and prevent the development of chronic disease through lifestyle risk factor modification.

In response to the National Primary Health Care Strategy [1] and National Preventative Health Strategy [17] there is a drive to improve the health literacy of Australians. Primary care is ideally placed to support lifestyle risk factor management and health literacy as 86% of the Australian population visit their GP at least once per year [18]. However addressing health literacy and SNAPW risk factor management in general practice is difficult; the average consultation time with a GP is 7–8 min shorter than the time necessary to provide smoking cessation counselling [19]. The tyranny of the urgent means that people may only present to the GP when sick leaving little or no time for prevention [2022].

The developing role of practice nurses and allied health professionals in the prevention of chronic disease provides an opportunity to tackle SNAPW risk factor management and poor health literacy in those at risk of developing chronic disease. We know from a previous systematic review on skill mix that substituting GPs with health professionals such as nurses or pharmacists can be effective in disease management and health promotion in older people [23, 24]. However it is not clear what impact the type of provider, such as dietician, diabetes educator or GP may have on the development of health literacy and associated SNAPW risk factor modification.

The aim of this systematic review and narrative synthesis is to determine how effective primary healthcare providers are at improving the health literacy of patients to make SNAPW lifestyle changes. A second aim is to discuss the drivers and barriers for health professionals trying to improving health literacy and risk factor modification in primary care.

Methods

A systematic review was undertaken. Studies were identified by searching Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Joanna Briggs Institute, Psychinfo, Web of Science, Scopus, APAIS, Australian Medical Index, Community of Science and Google Scholar from 1 January 1985 to 30 June 2009. Health literacy and related concepts were found to be poorly indexed in many of the databases so a list of key words and text words were developed and retested for use in the different databases, terms used in the Medline search are listed in Table 1. Hand searches were also conducted of four key journals: Patient Education and Counselling, Health Education and Behaviour, American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Preventive Medicine. Systematic reviews identified in the process were read and all papers that met the inclusion criteria for this review were added to the list of papers. The bibliographies of experimental papers included were screened to identify additional studies.
Table 1

Terms used in Medline search

Search Fields

Database specific terms (Text& MESH)

Health Literacy

Patient Education as Topic/ or exp Health Education/ or health literacy.mp. or exp Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice/ exp Patient Compliance/ exp Educational Status/(functional adj health adj literacy).tw.interactive health literacy.tw.critical health literacy.tw.

Outcomes

wrat.tw. realm.tw. tofhla.tw. hals.tw.social support scale.tw. diabetes care profile.tw. newest vital sign.tw. exp Physician-Patient Relations/ exp Self Efficacy/ exp rating scale/ or exp scoring system/ exp questionnaire/exp Psychological Rating Scale/

Primary Health Care

Primary Health Care/ exp Comprehensive Health Care/exp Patient Care Management/exp Family Practice/exp Physicians, Family/exp Community Health Services/(primary adj1 (care or health)).tw.(family adj1 (doct$ or medic$ or pract$ or physic$)).tw. (general adj1 pract$).tw. (gp or gps).tw.

Interventions

exp Health Promotion/ exp Motivation/motivation$ interviewing.tw. exp Behavior Therapy/ exp Risk Reduction Behavior/ exp Consumer Health Information/ exp Smoking Cessation/ self management.mp. exercise.mp. or exp Exercise/ brief intervention.mp.exp nutrition assessment/ exp Patient Education as Topic/ exp Self Care/ed [Education] exp Self Care/“group education”.mp. exp Education/

Lifestyle risk factors

exp Smoking/ec, pc [Economics, Prevention & Control] exp drinking behavior/ or exp alcohol drinking/ or exp feeding behavior/ or exp habits/ or exp health behavior/ exp Exercise/ exp Overweight/ exp Obesity/ exp risk factors/ exp Life Style/ exp Health Behavior/

Economic

 
There were several key definitions used to scope and focus the review.
  1. 1.

    Health literacy, represents basic skills (reading, writing and numeracy) which is functional health literacy. Interactive health literacy is the cognitive and social skills to actively participate in everyday living to extract information and derive meaning from different forms of communication, and to apply new information to changing circumstances to exert greater control over life events and situations (critical health literacy) [12].

     
  2. 2.

    Lifestyle risk factors for inclusion were: smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity, and weight.

     
  3. 3.

    Primary health care was defined as first level care provided by a suitably trained workforce supported by integrated referral systems and in a way that gives priority to those most at need, maximises community and individual self-reliance and participation and involves collaboration with other sectors. It includes: health promotion, illness prevention, care of the sick, advocacy, and community development.

     
  4. 4.

    Providers were included in the review if they worked within a primary health care setting including general practice (family practice, primary care), community health, home nursing, private or public allied health, Aboriginal and multi-cultural health and health education and information.

     
  5. 5.
    A driver or barrier influences behaviour of a provider, organization or patient with regards to the uptake or use of an intervention. Two levels of drivers were defined [25]:
    1. a.

      Primary drivers or barriers are system components which will contribute to moving the primary outcome.

       
    2. b.

      Secondary drivers or barriers are elements of the associated primary driver. They can be used to create projects or change packages that will affect the primary driver.

       
     

Studies were included in the review if they were published in English, between 1985 and June 2009, included males and females aged 18 years and over with at least one SNAPW risk factor for the development of a chronic disease. The interventions had to be implemented within primary health care as defined and the studies had to report an outcome measure associated with health literacy (knowledge, skills, attitudes, self efficacy, stages of change, motivation and patient activation) and a measure of SNAPW behaviour change. We could not identify established tools for measuring interactive and critical health literacy so we looked to the self management literature for instruments that measure the concepts of self-efficacy, patient motivation, confidence and broader social support such as the Diabetes Self Efficacy Scale, the Social Support Survey and measures of Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model [26].

Intervention studies were included in the review if they were randomised, quasi randomised controlled trials, controlled before and after studies or interrupted time series. In addition non-experimental studies were included in an extraction of barriers and facilitators of health literacy and SNAPW risk factor management, see Table 2 for organisational framework for the review.
Table 2

Organisational framework for the review

  

Outcomes

Patient characteristics

Intervention

Provider

Drivers / Barriers

Health Literacy

Health Literacy Outcome*

Behaviour Change

Cost Outcome

Age

Information – written, video, oral, pictures,

Doctor

Individual

Functional health literacy

Disease knowledge,

Smoking status

Intervention costs, Economic evaluation

Gender

Web based

Nurse

Language

Health related knowledge

Health related skills,

Nutrition

 

Ethnicity

Group self-management support, goal setting or education

Allied health

Knowledge/beliefs

Understanding

Health literacy score: TOFHLA, REALM, HALS, NVS

Alcohol use

 

Socio Economic Status

Individual Motivational interviewing or Coaching

 

Ideologies

Interactive health literacy

Change in:

Physical activity

 

Education level

Telephone based (eg coaching)

Educator

Experiences

Motivation

Readiness to change

Weight

 

Cognitive ability

 

Lay health worker

Medical conditions

Behavioural intentions

Attitudes

  

Cultural factors

 

Multi-disciplinary team

Social/community

Empowerment

Knowledge

  

Medical conditions

  

Environment

Critical health literacy

Patient activation

  

Lifestyle risks

  

Social support

Cognitive skills

Measures of self-efficacy

  
   

Social norms

Social skills

Self management score

  
   

Networks

Personal skills

   
   

Culture/Traditions

Self-efficacy

   
   

Health system/provider

    
   

Accessibility

    
   

Interpreters

    
   

Incentives

    
   

Continuity of care

    
   

Time / workload

    
   

Communication skills

    
   

Training

    
   

Providers no.

    
   

Provider types

    
   

Up-to-date verbal and written information

    
   

Inter-sectoral

    

The papers were screened by two researchers (AW and JT). A 10% sample of excluded studies was reviewed by a third reviewer (MH). Verification and data extraction were performed by two researchers (AW and JT), a quality assessment was performed using a published checklist [27] ( Additional file 1 and Additional file 2) by one reviewer (SD) and a 20% overlapping sample by a second researcher (AW). Data were extracted (AW and JT) into an MS Access™ database and included variables such as type of health professional, intervention description, duration and frequency of intervention and outcomes of interest. Interventions were coded into categories (group education, motivational interviewing and counselling, written material, mixed intervention, telephone or computer) and the intensity scored using a combination of frequency and duration of intervention. High intensity interventions were those with at least eight hours or contacts, medium intensity interventions had more than three hours or contacts but less than eight and low intensity interventions were those with up to three hours or contacts.

A vote counting approach to the synthesis was used. Each of the outcome measures of interest such as change in a SNAPW behaviour or health literacy measures were coded as significantly improved or not significantly improved based on the results reported in the paper for each outcome of interest. The outcomes were coded as a statistically significant improvement if the paper reported a positive change with a p ≤ 0.05. The tables report the total number of studies reporting that outcome measure as the denominator and the numerator is the total number of studies with a significant improvement in that outcome measure. This approach to the analysis has been used in other systematic reviews of complex interventions [23, 28, 29]

Drivers and barriers for providers involved in developing SNAPW health literacy were extracted from the 42 descriptive papers identified during the search by one researcher (SD) and the findings coded using the definitions from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement [25] and synthesised by two researchers (MH and SD). This review was conducted as part of a larger policy relevant review [30] and funded by a Stream 13 grant from the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute.

Results

The database searches yielded 4691 papers that were assessed for inclusion in the review and after the screening and verification stages data were extracted from 52 papers that described intervention studies to address health literacy and lifestyle risk factor modification provided by different health professionals, see Figure 1 for PRISMA [31] flow chart. The characteristics of the included studies are in Table 3. In addition to the 52 intervention studies qualitative data on drivers and barriers were extracted from the 42 papers identified describing descriptive studies of health literacy and SNAPW risk factor modification, including facilitators and barriers.
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1471-2296-13-44/MediaObjects/12875_2012_Article_747_Fig1_HTML.jpg
Figure 1

Review flow chart.

Table 3

Characteristics of included studies

Intervention Studies reporting

N

%

 

N

%

HL & SNAPW findings (N = 52)

Publication Year

  

Setting

  

1988–1999

20

38.5

Community (General)

20

38.5

2000–2009

32

61.5

General Practice / Primary Care/ Community Health

28

53.8

Total

100

100

Other (hospital, not PHC)

4

7.7

Countries

  

Health professionals

  

USA

30

57.7

Multi-disciplinary team

11

21.2

UK

7

13.5

Doctors

9

17.3

Australian/New Zealand

4

7.7

Other (not specified)

7

13.5

Sweden/Switzerland/Netherlands

9

17.3

Educator

6

11.5

Canada

1

1.9

Lay worker

6

11.5

Japan

1

1.9

Nurses

5

9.6

   

Dieticians

1

1.9

   

Computer

7

13.5

Total

52

100

Total

52

100

Most of the studies (71%, 37/52) demonstrated an improvement in health literacy, see Table 4. Overall, health literacy and SNAPW risk factor were both improved for 61% (14/23) of interventions to address nutrition, 54% (15/28) for physical activity, 43% (3/7) for weight and 40% (6/15) for smoking. When interventions were grouped according to the health professional providing the intervention, 33% (3/9) of the studies reporting interventions provided by doctors resulted in an improvement in health literacy compared to interventions provided by other health professionals such as dieticians, educators or nurses (92% 11/12) and multidisciplinary teams (91% 10/11). When the interventions were categorised into low, medium and high intensity it became clear that different types of health professionals tended to provide interventions of varying intensities according to our definition. For example, 71% (5/7) of the interventions provided by doctors were categorised as low intensity. These interventions tended to be motivational interviewing and counselling around smoking cessation and physical activity prescription and were often only one session with goal setting and were described as brief interventions [19, 3235]. In contrast 80% (8/10) of the interventions provided by nurses, dieticians or educators and 90% (9/10) provided by multidisciplinary teams were categorised as medium or high intensity. These interventions were often motivational counselling or group education programs that took place over a number of weeks and targeted smoking, nutrition or physical activity [3652]. These interventions improved health literacy (10/11) although the effect on SNAPW risk factors was a little less with 8/11 reporting an improvement. Of the studies involving a lay worker, alone or as part of a multi-disciplinary team, 71% (5/7) targeted people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Overall, the included studies were of medium quality (36/52), 11 were high quality and five studies were of low quality. See Table 5 for a summary of the included studies.
Table 4

Studies by provider and type of intervention and outcome for SNAPW and health literacy

Provider (No. of studies)

Intervention type (No. of studies)

Intervention Intensity

SNAPW outcomes (No. studies sig outcome/no studies measure SNAPW)

Health Literacy (No. studies sig outcome/No. studies measure HL)

Doctor (9)

 

H

M

L

NR

S

N

A

P

W

 
 

Motivational interviewing or counselling (5)

  

3

2

1/1

0

0

2/4

0

3/5

 

Mixed intervention (3)

 

2

  

0

1/1

0

0/1

0

0/2

 

Written material (2)

  

2

 

1/1

1/1

0

0

0

0/2

 

Total

 

2

5

2

2/2

2/2

0

2/5

0

3/9

Nurse (5) Dietician (1) or Educator (6)

Group education (4)

3

1

  

0/1

1/1

0

1/1

0

4/4

 

Motivational interviewing or counselling (5)

2

1

2

 

1/2

0

0

4/4

0/1

4/5

 

Mixed intervention (2)

1

 

1

 

0

1/1

0

0/1

0/1

2/2

 

Telephone (1)

1

   

0

0

0

1/1

0

1/1

 

Total

7

2

3

 

1/3

2/2

0

6/7

0/2

11/12

Computer (7)

           
 

Computer (2)

  

2

 

0/1

2/2

0

1/1

0

1/2

 

Computer gen written material (5)

  

5

 

3/4

3/4

0

0/1

0

4/5

 

Total

  

7

 

3/5

5/6

0

1/2

0

5/7

Lay worker (6)

           
 

Group education (5)

3

1

 

1

0

2/3

0

2/4

1/1

3/5

 

Mixed intervention (1)

1

   

1/1

1/1

0

1/1

0

0/1

 

Total

4

1

 

1

1/1

3/4

0

3/4

1/1

3/6

Other (7)

           
 

Mixed intervention (1)

1

   

0/1

1/1

0/1

0/1

0

1/1

 

Telephone (1)

 

1

  

0

0

0

0

0

1/1

 

Written (5)

 

3

2

 

0

3/3

0

3/5

0/1

4/5

 

Total

1

4

2

 

0/1

4/4

0/1

3/6

0/1

6/7

MDT (11)

           
 

Group education (5)

2

3

  

0/1

3/3

0

2/2

1/2

5/5

 

Mixed intervention (5)

2

2

1

 

1/1

1/2

0

1/2

2/2

4/5

 

Motivational interviewing and counselling (1)

 

1

  

0

0

0

1/1

0

1/1

 

Total

4

6

1

 

1/2

4/5

0

4/5

3/4

10/11

Table 5

Summary of included studies

Reference

Intervention

Study type and quality

SNAPW outcomes

Health literacy outcomes

Authors: Adolfsson ET, Walker-EngstrÃm ML, Smide B, Wikblad K [36]

Patient education in type 2 diabetes-A randomized controlled 1-year follow-up study

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group empowerment sessions

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: 4–5 sessions over 7 months

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: No

 
 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (GP, educator)

  

Patient activation: N/A

    

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Aldana SG, Greenlaw RL, Diehl HA, Salberg A, Merrill RM, Ohmine S, et al [37]

Effects of an intensive diet and physical activity modification program on the health risks of adults

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group education with participants following preset dietary goals

Quality score: 3.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 40 h over a 4-week period

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: Yes

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (GP, educator)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Brassington GS, Atienza AA, Perczek RE, DiLorenzo TM, King AC [38]

Intervention-Related Cognitive Versus Social

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Mediators of Exercise Adherence in the Elderly

Quality rating: Low

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Intervention type: Telephone

 

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Description: Telephone Counselling + exercise logs

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity: exercise prescription, telephone exercise counseling to promote exercise adherence for 12 months, and attended 6- and 12-month assessment visits

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

Quality score: 1.83

 

Shared decision making: N/A

 

Provider: Educator

  

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: de Vries H, Kremers SP, Smeets T, Brug J, Eijmael K [53]

The effectiveness of tailored feedback and action plans in an intervention addressing multiple health behaviors

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: 3 iterative tailored feedback letters

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 3 iterative feedback letters

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Other

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Dunn AL, Marcus BH, Kampert JB, Garcia ME, Kohl HW, Blair SN [39]

Reduction in cardiovascular disease risk factors: 6-month results from Project Active

Study type: Randomised Clinical Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Cognitive & behavioural strategies + Motivational Interviewing - advised to accumulate at least 30 min of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week, tailored to their lifestyle

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: small groups that met for an hour 1 night a week for the first 16 weeks, and then every other week for weeks 17 to 24,

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Educator

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Efraimsson EÃ, Hillervik C, Ehrenberg A [40]

Effects of COPD self-care management education at a nurse-led primary health care clinic

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: Yes

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Low

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Disease education (COPD) & counseling on RF

Quality score: 1.83

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 12–20 weeks

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Nurse

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Goldstein MG, Pinto BM, Marcus BH, Lynn H, Jette AM, Rakowski W, et al [32]

Physician-based physical activity counseling for middle-aged and older adults: a randomized trial

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Individualised motivational counseling, goal setting + PA prescription + mailed monthly materials

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 5 mins brief counseling with mailed monthly materials

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Hartman TJ, McCarthy PR, Park RJ, Schuster E, Kushi LH [54]

Results of a community-based low-literacy nutrition education program

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: 10 sessions and written information

Quality score: 2.5

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: 10 sessions

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Lay worker

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Kloek GC, van Lenthe FJ, van Nierop PWM, Koelen MA, Mackenbach JP [55]

Impact evaluation of a Dutch community intervention to improve health-related behaviour in deprived neighbourhoods

Study type: Quasi experimental

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group education + community development (one off special events)

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: No

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 2 year intervention

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Other

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: Lorig KR, Ritter PL, Jacquez A [56]

Outcomes of border health Spanish/English Chronic Disease Self-management Programs

Study type: Before and After Study

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: CDSMP

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 2.5 h sessions over 6 weeks - total 14 h

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Lay worker

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Nies MA, Artinian NT, Schim SM, Vander Wal JS, Sherrick-Escamilla S [57]

Effects of lay health educator interventions on activity, diet, and health risks in an urban Mexican American community

Study type: Before and After Study

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: No

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Low

Nutrition: No

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Health promotion train the trainer sessions in the community

Quality score: 1.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 2–6 h train the trainer sessions and 3x1h sessions for community

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Lay worker

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Norris SL, Grothaus LC, Buchner DM, Pratt M [33]

Effectiveness of physician-based assessment and counseling for exercise in a staff model HMO

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: One counselling session, written PA prescription and one follow up call. A subset received booster telephone calls at 2, 3 and 4 months and postcard reminders at 2, 3, 4, and 5 months. (no significant difference between groups in PA levels)

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: One counselling session, written PA prescription and one follow up call

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: Ridgeway NA, Harvill DR, Harvill LM, Falin TM, Forester GM, Gose OD [41]

Improved control of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A practical education/behavior modification program in a primary care clinic

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group education mixed with individual education sessions

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 12 weekly group sessions, 1 individual session and 6 bi-weekly sessions

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: Yes

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (Nurse, dietician, GP)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Sadur CN, Moline N, Costa M, Michalik D, Mendlowitz D, Roller S, et al [42]

Diabetes management in a health maintenance organization: Efficacy of care management using cluster visits

Study type: Clustered Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group education + 1 additional individual session

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 10–18 patients/month for 6 months

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (Psychologist, educator, dietician, pharmacist)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Van Sluijs EMF, Van Poppel MNM, Twisk JWR, Van Mechelen W [43]

Physical activity measurements affected participants’ behavior in a randomized controlled trial

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: No

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Individual physician tailored counseling + 2 phone calls (5–10mins) + follow up consultation

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: 10 min initial consult, 5–10 min phone call at 2 weeks, 10 min consult at 4 weeks and phone call 8 weeks after 2nd consult

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (GP, nurse, counselor)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: Yajima S, Takano T, Nakamura K, Watanabe M [58]

Effectiveness of a community leaders’ programme to promote healthy lifestyles in Tokyo, Japan

Study type: Quasi experimental

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/R

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Range of activities by lay community members to be health promotion leaders

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 2 year program

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/R

 

Provider: Lay worker

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: Yes

Authors: Boylan MJ, Renier CM, Knuths JS, Haller IV [44]

Preventing cardiovascular disease in women: an intervention-control randomized study

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Lifestyle intervention program including individualized review, information, classes and follow up phone calls

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 12 months

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Educator

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Jimmy G, Martin BW [59]

Implementation and effectiveness of a primary care based physical activity counselling scheme

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Individual counseling & feedback on stage of change + take home leaflets + offer of referral to PA specialist (at ¼ of cost) + follow up session computer assisted tool (PA & motivation assessment) + telephone reminders (3)

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: Feedback, information 45 min counselling session

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Kreuter MW, Strecher VJ [60]

Do tailored behavior change messages enhance the effectiveness of health risk appraisal? Results from a randomized trial

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: No

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: individually-tailored behavior change information with health risk assessment mailed

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 1 off risk information sheet and 1 individually tailored behavior change info

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Computer

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Miller CK, Edwards L, Kissling G, Sanville L [45]

Evaluation of a theory-based nutrition intervention for older adults with diabetes mellitus

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: 10 group education sessions

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 10 weekly group sessions

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Dietician

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Oenema A, Brug J, Dijkstra A, de Weerdt I, de Vries H [61]

Efficacy and use of an internet-delivered computer-tailored lifestyle intervention, targeting saturated fat intake, physical activity and smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Computer

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Internet-delivered, computer-tailored lifestyle intervention

Quality score: 2.5

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 1 month

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider:

  

Shared decision making: N/A

 

Computer

  

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Ogden J, Hoppe R [62]

The relative effectiveness of two styles of educational package to change practice nurses’ management of obesity

Study type: Before and After Study

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: Yes

 

Description: Individual consultation + advice by nurse

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: One consultation

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: No

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Nurse

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Simmons D, Voyle JA, Fout F, Feot S, Leakehe L [63]

Tale of two churches: Differential impact of a church-based diabetes control programme among Pacific Islands people in New Zealand

Study type: Non-Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Tailored activities by language & culture relevance & cooking classes

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: NR

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: NR

 

Weight: Yes

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Lay worker

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: Ryan A, Smith C [64]

Change for Life/Cambia tu vida: a health promotion program based on the stages of change model for African descendent and Latino adults in New Hampshire

Study type: Before and After Study

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group education targeting participants stage of change + culturally appropriate written resources + decision tree

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: six 2-h classes held weekly, followed by periodic group support meetings after the series of classes is completed

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (Researcher, lay worker)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Steptoe A, Rink E, Kerry S [65]

Psychosocial predictors of changes in physical activity in overweight sedentary adults following counseling in primary care

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Individual brief counseling by a nurse (1–3 sessions)

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 1–3 sessions

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Nurse

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: Toobert DJ, Glasgow RE, Strycker LA, Barrera M, Ritzwoller DP, Weidner G [46]

Long-term effects of the Mediterranean lifestyle program: a randomized clinical trial for postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes (Provisional abstract)

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: 2.5 day non residential education + weekly meetings for 6 months with small group support

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 2.5 day non residential education + weekly meetings for 6 months with small group support

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (Dietician, exercise physiologist, educator, lay worker)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: Yes

Authors: Hoffman AM, Redding CA, Goldberg D, Añel D, Prochaska JO, Meyer PM, et al [66]

Computer expert systems for African-American smokers in physicians offices: A feasibility study

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: Yes

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Computer feedback with nurse + stage based RF manual + 3–6 min audio-tapes + stress management exercise instructions

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: Interactive computer sessions (number uncertain) and brief audiotapes

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Computer

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Wolf RL, Lepore SJ, Vandergrift JL, Basch CE, Yaroch AL [67]

Tailored telephone education to promote awareness and adoption of fruit and vegetable recommendations among urban and mostly

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Telephone

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Telephone individual education & mailed brochure

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 2 calls and mailed brochure

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Other

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Swerissen H, Belfrage J, Weeks A, Jordan L, Walker C, Furler J, et al [68]

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Language specific SM Program + audiocassette + program booklet

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: 6 weekly 2.5 h sessions. 20 h training for peer leaders

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Lay worker

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Campbell J, Aday RH [69]

Improving dietary behavior: the effectiveness of tailored messages in primary care settings

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Computer generated tailored nutrition newsletters & profile feedback related to stage of change

Quality score: 3.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: one-time, mailed nutrition information packet

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Computer

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: Yes

Authors: Collins R, Lee RE, Albright CL, King AC [47]

Ready to be Physically Active? The Effects of a Course Preparing Low-Income Multiethnic Women to be more Physically Active

Study type: Before and After Study

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group Education + culturally sensitive curriculum

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: 10 mth intervention

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Educator

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: Yes

Authors: Gladys Block PW, Rochelle Mandel, Diane Metz, Mary L Fujii, Nancy Feldman, and Barbara Sutherland [70]

A Randomized Trial of the Little by Little CD-ROM: Demonstrated Effectiveness in Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Intake in a Low-income Population

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Computer

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Self Guided interactive computer program + goal setting + handouts

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: CD ROM and 2 reminder phone calls

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Computer

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Koffman DM BT, Mosca L, Redberg R, Schmid T, Wattigney WA [71]

An evaluation of Choose to Move 1999: an American Heart Association physical activity program for women.

Study type: Before and After Study

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Low

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: written materials + Postcards + Email + Newsletter

Quality score: 1.5

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 12-week, mail-mediated lifestyle intervention program

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Other

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Marcus BH BB, Pinto BM, Forsyth LH, Roberts MB, Traficante RM [72]

Efficacy of an individualized, motivationally-tailored physical activity intervention

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Tailored counseling messages using “computer expert system” + motivationally matched manuals + feedback on progress were mailed to subjects

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: NR

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Other

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Prochaska JO, Velicer WF, Redding C, Rossi JS, Goldstein M, DePue J, et al [73]

Stage-based expert systems to guide a population of primary care patients to quit smoking, eat healthier, prevent skin cancer, and receive regular mammograms

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: Yes

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Mailed computer generated profile reports (stage of change, use of change processes, pros & cons of changing) + self help manual + strategies on how to progress stages

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 3 reports mailed for each risk factor

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Computer

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Prochaska JO, Velicer WF, Rossi JS, Redding CA, Greene GW, Rossi SR, et al [74]

Multiple Risk Expert Systems Interventions: Impact of Simultaneous Stage-Matched Expert System Interventions for Smoking, High-Fat Diet, and Sun Exposure in a Population of Parents

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: Yes

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Mailed computer generated profile reports (stage of change, use of change processes, pros & cons of changing) + self help manual + strategies on how to progress stages

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

reports for each of their relevant behaviors at 0, 6, and 12 months as well as a multiple behavior manual.

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity: Received 3 reports per year

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Intensity score: L

  

Shared decision making: N/A

 

Provider: Computer

  

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Beresford SA SJC, A R Kristal, D Lazovich, Z Feng and E H Wagner [34]

A dietary intervention in primary care practice: the Eating Patterns Study.

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: No

 

Description: Self help materials

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: Low intensity – time not stated

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Marcus B H Emmons KM, Simkin-Silverman L R, Linnan L A, Taylor E R, Bock B C, Roberts M B, Rossi J S, Abrams D B [75]

Evaluation of motivationally tailored vs standard self-help physical activity interventions at the workplace

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Repeated mailing (3 times) Self-help manuals + motivational messages related to stage of change

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 3 lots of written material

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Other

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Graham-Clarke P, Oldenburg B [76]

The effectiveness of a general-practice-based physical activity intervention on patient physical activity status

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Lifestyle counseling - Fresh Start Program by Heart Foundation

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: NR

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: NR

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: O’Loughlin, Jennifer Paradis, Gilles Meshefedjian, Garbis Kishchuk, Natalie [77]

Evaluation of an 8-Week Mailed Healthy-Weight Intervention

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Unsure

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: 8-Week Mailed Healthy-Weight Intervention

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: 18 pamphlets mailed over 8 weeks

 

Physical activity: Unsure

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: No

Patient activation: No

 

Provider: Other

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Winkleby MA, Howard-Pitney B, Albright CA, Bruce B, Kraemer HC, Fortmann SP [48]

Predicting achievement of a low-fat diet: a nutrition intervention for adults with low literacy skills

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Yes

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group education (Stanford Nutrition Action Program) + multiple mail/telephone follow up calls

Quality score: 2.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: Yes

 

Intensity: six or seven 60-min sessions classes

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: No

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Educator

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Agurs-Collins, TD, Kumanyika, SK, Ten Have, TR, Adams-Campbell, LL [49]

A randomised controlled trial of weight reduction and exercise for diabetes management in older African-American subjects.

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: Unsure

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: No

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: 6 group sessions, 1 individualised counseling + diary

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 12 weekly group sessions, 1 individual session and 6 bi-weekly group sessions

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: Unsure Not reported

 

Intensity score: H

 

Weight: Yes

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (Dietician, exercise physiologist)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Butler, CC, Rollnick, S, Cohen, D et al, [78]

Motivational consulting versus brief advice for smokers in general practice: a randomized trial

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: Yes

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Motivational Counselling + patient setting targets

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: NR

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: NR

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Calfas, KJ, Sallis, JF, Oldenburg, B et al, [35]

Mediators of change in physical activity following an intervention in primary care: PACE

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Motivational counseling + patient setting goals + activity log + examples of activities

Quality score: 2.33

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: Brief intervention

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: Yes

 

\Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider:

  

Shared decision making: N/A

 

Doctor

  

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: Delichatsios, HK, Hunt, MK, Lobb, R et al, [50]

EatSmart: efficacy of a multifaceted preventive nutrition intervention in clinical practice

Study type: Clustered

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Randomised Controlled Trial

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Tailored recommendations & stage matched booklets by mail + Motivational Counseling + personalized letter + physician endorsement + option of referral to counselor

Quality rating: Medium

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 1 mailed information, verbal endorsement by provider and 2 motivational sessions with phone counsellor. Dietitian consult offered

Quality score: 2.33

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (GP, counselor)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Fries,E, Edinboro, P, McClish, D, Manion, L, Bowen, D, Beresford, SAA, Ripley, J [79]

Randomized trial of a low-intensity dietary intervention in rural residents: the Rural Physician Cancer Prevention Project.

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: No

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: A series of tailored feedback, brief telephone counseling + booklets

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: Feedback, 1 phone call and 4 booklets mailed weekly

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: No

Authors: Lancaster, T, Dobbie, W, Vos, K et al [51]

Randomized trial of nurse-assisted strategies for smoking cessation in primary care

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: No

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Motivational interviewing and counseling

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Brief advice by a doctor followed by extended counseling from a nurse

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: 6 weeks

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: No

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Nurse

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Little, P, Dorward, M, Gralton, S, Hammerton, L, Pillinger, J, White, P et al. [80]

A randomised controlled trial of three pragmatic approaches to initiate increased physical activity in sedentary patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: High

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Exercise Prescription provide by GP + counseling by practice nurses and booklet

Quality score: 2.83

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: Brief intervention with GP, 1 counseling session with nurse and material

 

Physical activity: Yes

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Multi-disciplinary team (GP, nurse)

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Naylor, PJ, Simmonds, G, Riddoch, C et al. [81]

Comparison of stage-matched and unmatched interventions to promote exercise behaviour in the primary care setting

Study type: Randomised Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Mixed intervention

Quality rating: Low

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: General advice and written materials or counseling and 4 staged booklets or 4 staged booklets and action planner for all groups

Quality score: 1.66

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: Single contact interventions

 

Physical activity: No

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Nurse

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Siero, FW, Broer, J, Bemelmans, WJ, Meyboom-de Jong, BM [52]

Impact of group nutrition education and surplus value of Prochaska-based stage-matched information on health-related cognitions and on Mediterranean nutrition behavior.

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: N/A

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Group education

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: Yes

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Group education + booklets (core information)

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: No

 

Intensity: 3 sessions of 2 h each

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: M

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Educator

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: Yes

Authors: Slama K, Redman S, Perkins J et al [82]

The effectiveness of two smoking cessation programmes for use in general practice: a randomised controlled trial.

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: Yes

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Asked if a smoker and given a brochure

Quality score: 2.0

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: Brief

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: N/A

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Doctor

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

Authors: Lennox AS, Osman LM, Reiter E, Robertson R, Friend J, McCann I, Skatun D, Donnan PT [83]

Cost effectiveness of computer tailored and non-tailored smoking cessation letters in general practice: randomised controlled.

Study type: Randomised Controlled Trial

Smoking: Yes

Patient knowledge: N/A

 

Intervention type: Written material

Quality rating: Medium

Nutrition: N/A

Patient skills: N/A

 

Description: Tailored letter

Quality score: 2.16

Alcohol: N/A

Self efficacy: N/A

 

Intensity: Brief

 

Physical activity: N/A

Stage of change: Yes

 

Intensity score: L

 

Weight: N/A

Patient activation: N/A

 

Provider: Computer

  

Shared decision making: N/A

    

Other health literacy outcome: N/A

A number of barriers and drivers were identified that related to the providers ability to provide SNAPW health literacy interventions. The barriers and drivers can be grouped under three main headings: provider context, provider costs and interaction between providers and patients. There were 32 papers describing provider factors, 27 describing provider and service context and 20 that described barriers and drivers at the provider patient interface. The barriers and drivers are listed in Table 6. Provider barriers included lack of knowledge or skills in preventive medicine and provider attitudes to providing this type of care. Linked to this were barriers and drivers around provider context such as support for professional development and funding mechanisms for health education. Many of the drivers and barriers around the patient provider interface relate to their relationship, trust and continuity of care.
Table 6

Provider drivers and barriers to interventions directed at improving SNAPW and health literacy

Barriers and Drivers (Number of Papers citing)

Driver

Barrier

Provider Factors€

  

Time (16)

 

Preventive medicine skills (12)

 

Knowledge of guidelines / information (11)

 

Attitudes and beliefs (10)

 

Teamwork / working with other providers (6)

 

Knowledge of referral services (3)

 

Confidence (2)

 

Communication skills (2)

 

Outcome expectations (2)

 

Provider Service Context

  

Training (duration, MI, communication), CPD, funding time, organization) (7)

 

Funding for health education (4)

 

Community links / community oriented services (2)

 

Availability of referral services/networks (2)

Information systems (2)

 

Availability of space (1)

 

Supportive public health policy (1)

 

Patient provider interface

  

Access of health education / lifestyle modification

  

· Cost (6)

 

· Transport (1)

 

· Availability (3)

 

· Physical access (1)

 

Trust of information (6)

 

Continuity of care (7)

 

Patient provider relationship (6)

 

Proactive follow up (4)

 

Aids (e.g. Pedometer ) (4)

 

Reading age of materials (3)

 

Patient education materials tailored (2)

 

Cultural materials / translation (2)

 

Individualised format (2)

 

Health seeking behaviour (2)

 

Group format (1)

 

Goal setting (1)

 

Decision support (1)

 

Standardised assessment questions/protocols (1)

 

Discussion

The results from this review highlight the complex relationships between providers and interventions to develop health literacy of patients to make SNAPW lifestyle changes. The relative effectiveness of non medical members of the primary health care medical team compared with doctors in improving health literacy was confounded by the intensity of the intervention (in terms of hours or number of contacts). Thus effectiveness in terms of improvement of health literacy may be related to capacity of the provider (time as well as skills and attitudes) to undertake more than brief interventions. For some SNAPW lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation interventions, low intensity interventions resulted in behaviour change but not necessarily improvements in health literacy.

Shared decision making and good communication are important to developing a sense of trust and partnerships to develop health literacy [12, 16] and the more intensive interventions may provide a platform for this to occur. The results from the driver and barrier extraction highlight the importance of continuity of care, the provider patient relationship and opportunity for follow up. This would support the suggestion that developing health literacy around SNAPW takes time and therefore a medium to high intensity intervention is required. Many of the barriers to shared decision making in practice, such as time, are more acute for doctors than for other health professionals [84].

Because of the nature of general practice, interventions involving doctors tend to be brief interventions and focus on issues such as smoking and physical activity prescription [19, 3235]. In Australia, initiatives such as Lifescripts (evidence based interventions to support lifestyle risk factor assessment and management), and 45+ health checks (health assessments targeting people aged 45+ at risk of developing a chronic disease) aim to support these brief interventions in primary care. Referral to programs for dietary education would provide patients at risk with a more intensive intervention but in Australia GPs only refer around 10% of their at risk patients to such programs [18, 85] and GPs do not have capacity to provide more intensive interventions themselves [86]. A recent randomised controlled trial of lifestyle risk factor management in Australian general practice found that brief advice for physical activity resulted in an increase in patient self-reported activity but only those patients referred to the group programs demonstrated an improvement in diet and weight (Harris et al, MJA in press).

Creating a time where issues such as health literacy or lifestyle risk factor management can be addressed without the pressure to treat an acute problem is important and may offer an explanation as to why these more intensive approaches might be effective. Health screening programs delivered in primary health care could provide an opportunity for other members of the health care team such as practice nurses to be involved in the assessment, brief intervention, referral and group programs located at the practice. Allied health professionals such as dieticians, educators or physiotherapists could also be involved in providing education and health coaching. In addition to this there needs to be a shift in patient attitudes to using primary health care services for prevention of chronic illness. Research has shown that low health literacy is associated with poorer uptake of screening for colorectal cancer [87], breast cancer and prevention measures such as flu vaccination [88].

At a policy level there needs to be greater understanding of the skills and intensity of interventions required to improve health literacy and for SNAPW risk factor modification. For example, brief interventions can be very effective for smoking cessation [82] and this can be provided by a GP or practice nurse [51]. For more complex interventions such as dietary advice and weight loss then well trained health professionals who are able to deliver interventions of the appropriate intensity are required. Many of these interventions were group based programs which also provided peer support to the participants [36, 37, 3942, 4449, 52]. Educating health professionals about the impact of health literacy on a range of behaviours is important if they are to be better able to support their patients to manage their health [20, 22, 89]. Many of the current tools to measure health literacy may be impractical for use as a screening tool in general practice but are useful as broad guidelines to help health professionals understand the impact of low health literacy on their patient’s health status [8]. Internationally, a number of governments have policy in place to address health inequities that result from poor health literacy [9, 90, 91].

The main limitation of this review was that whilst there were 52 studies included, once the principal health professionals providing the intervention were identified the numbers of papers in each group were small and most of the included studies were of moderate quality, only 11/52 were assessed as being of high quality. The heterogeneity of the interventions identified also meant that a meta-analysis was not appropriate. In addition, the details of providers and description of their characteristics and role in the intervention was not systematically reported by the studies included in the review. Another limitation was the way in which health literacy is and is not measured in studies of lifestyle risk factor modification. In order to capture the complex definition of health literacy proposed by Nutbeam [5, 12] then the measures need to go beyond simple measures of functional health literacy. The measures used in many of these studies included self-efficacy and patient activation in order to include those that addressed critical health literacy.

Conclusion

The results of this review highlight the importance of the provider being able to provide moderate to high intensive interventions to address health literacy to make SNAPW lifestyle risk factor changes. As the context of the primary health care setting makes it difficult for GPs to provide the intensity of intervention required to influence health literacy and behaviour change it is important the referral mechanisms to intensive programs or other health professionals are available.

Abbreviations

COAG: 

Council of Australian Governments

ABHI: 

Australian Better Health Initiative

SNAPW: 

Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and weight

GP: 

general practitioner

CINAHL: 

Cumulative index to nursing and allied health literature

APAIS: 

Australian Public Affairs Information Service

TOFHLA: 

Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults

REALM: 

Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine

HALS: 

Health Activity Literacy Scale

NVS: 

Newest Vital Sign.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by a Stream 13 grant from the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales
(2)
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales

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  92. Pre-publication history

    1. The pre-publication history for this paper can be accessed here:http://​www.​biomedcentral.​com/​1471-2296/​13/​44/​prepub

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