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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Michael J. Ormshaw, Leena T. Paakkari and Lasse K. Kannas

A systematic review of literature was conducted to compile, analyse and describe the methodology and measurement of childhood/adolescent health literacy.

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Abstract

Purpose

A systematic review of literature was conducted to compile, analyse and describe the methodology and measurement of childhood/adolescent health literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Six online databases (ERIC, PubMed, CINAHL, Biomed Central, Web of Science and Sports Discuss) were systematically searched to identify English language, peer‐reviewed articles, published between 1980 and April 2011, which reported on the measurement of health literacy in a population under the age of 18. The search identified 16 articles to be included in the final review, from which, data were systematically extracted in order to answer four review questions concerning several aspects of the method and effectiveness of the completed studies.

Findings

The majority (n=13) of the studies described the use of newly developed measurement tools and enquiry methods. The majority (n=14) assessed health literacy via task performance as opposed to examining self‐reported health literacy. Thirteen health topics and nine distinct components of health literacy were identified as being scrutinised by the 16 articles. Examination of the intended measurement aims of each study, in comparison with the actual measurement methods revealed that six studies fully succeeded in examining what they intended to measure. It is concluded that even though research in this field is escalating, clear definitions and measurement methods of childhood health literacy must be developed in order to effectively expand the field further and comprehensively assess childhood health literacy.

Originality/value

This review is to our knowledge the first to collate and examine studies concentrating solely on the measurement of health literacy in a child and/or adolescent population.

Details

Health Education, vol. 113 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Michael James Ormshaw, Sami Petteri Kokko, Jari Villberg and Lasse Kannas

The purpose of this paper is to utilise the collective opinion of a group of Finnish experts to identify the most important learning outcomes of secondary-level…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to utilise the collective opinion of a group of Finnish experts to identify the most important learning outcomes of secondary-level school-based health education, in the specific domains of physical activity and nutrition.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a Delphi survey technique to collect the opinions of a group (panel) of Finnish experts. A list of learning outcomes was compiled via an extensive literature review of documents from all levels of health education (physical activity and nutrition) policy development and implementation. A general inductive analysis method was conducted, resulting in education themes which were then compiled into health literacy-constructed learning outcomes to present to the panel in the two Delphi rounds.

Findings

The study question is answered in the form of a ranked list of the 24 most important learning outcomes of physical activity and nutrition education in Finnish schools. The analysis of variance pair-wise comparisons with Bonferroni indicated that six items were statistically possibly more important than the 18 others. The three most important items being: first, understand the importance of a varied and balanced diet; second, the ability to analyse their own lifestyle; third, understand the link between physical activity and health. The study also identified topics/themes which could be either under-represented or over-represented in the current literature and teaching.

Originality/value

This study is the only one of its type, and researches an as yet unknown area of health education. The value of this study lies in its role in the further development of school health education, in terms of identifying the “most important” contemporary issues to teach in the classroom, and may also be used as a topic prioritisation and curriculum planning tool.

Details

Health Education, vol. 116 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Sami Kokko, Lasse Kannas, Jari Villberg and Michael Ormshaw

This paper aims to clarify the extent to which youth sports clubs guide their coaches to recognise health promotion as a part of the coaching practice. The guidance…

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2161

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to clarify the extent to which youth sports clubs guide their coaches to recognise health promotion as a part of the coaching practice. The guidance activity of clubs is seen parallel to internal organisational communication.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 93 (from 120, 78 per cent) youth sports clubs in Finland was carried out, and a total of 273 sports club officials acted as respondents. The clubs' guidance activity was examined under three domains: sports performance time, non‐performance sports club time, and health topics.

Findings

In general, youth sports clubs were passive on guiding their coaches on health promotion. Guidance activity was evident concerning actual sports performance time, whereas non‐performance sports club time received much less attention. Health topics were guided to a varying degree in that the clubs had been active in guiding the coaches on topics such as the risks of being physically active when ill, injury prevention, and sleep/rest, whereas topics such as nutrition and the use of various substances were much less acknowledged.

Research limitations/implications

The study limitations relate to self‐reported data, and the complexity of assessing sports clubs. As one of the first studies in the area, all the measurement instruments and methods were created from the outset. Therefore, further studies are required for validation purposes. Despite the limitations, this study provides pioneering baseline information.

Practical implications

The results indicate that youth sports clubs are still discipline and competition oriented. Health promotion guidance especially regarding non‐performance sports club time and several health topics needs to be addressed by the clubs in order to meet the clubs' own health‐related intentions.

Originality/value

These findings are unique in this relatively new setting for health promotion, and they can act as a baseline for research methodology development and further studies.

Details

Health Education, vol. 111 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Olli Paakkari, Minna Torppa, Jari Villberg, Lasse Kannas and Leena Paakkari

The purpose of this paper is to explore Finnish adolescents’ subjective health literacy (HL) in association to school achievement, learning difficulties, educational…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore Finnish adolescents’ subjective health literacy (HL) in association to school achievement, learning difficulties, educational aspirations, and family affluence.

Design/methodology/approach

Nationally representative data were collected in Finland as a part of the international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. The respondents consisted in total of 3,833 adolescents (7th and 9th graders) from 359 schools. The Health Literacy for School-aged Children instrument was applied to measure adolescents’ subjective HL, while the Family Affluence Scale was used to measure adolescents’ socioeconomic status. Information was gathered on school achievement, learning difficulties, and educational aspirations.

Findings

Approximately one-third of the adolescents manifested a high level of HL, around 60 per cent had a moderate level of HL, and about one-tenth had low HL. The HL level was lower for boys than for girls, and lower for 7th graders than for 9th graders. In the total sample, the strongest explanatory variables for HL were school achievement in the first language, and educational aspirations.

Originality/value

This study provides the first nationally representative examination of adolescents’ subjective HL levels, and how these vary across age and gender groups. In drawing conclusions and presenting suggestions for HL interventions, it is important to verify the nature of the HL examined in any given study, and how it was researched.

Details

Health Education, vol. 118 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

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