Tackling skills gaps of health and social care professionals to promote health literacy of persons at risk of dementia

Project Details


Health Literacy (HL) is defined by the World Health Organization as “the cognitive and social skills which determine themotivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote andmaintain good health”. Poor HL has numerous negative consequences, ranging from negative health behaviour (higherdisease risk, decreased self-care skills) to misuse of health care. The promotion of HL is an important task of publicHealth and Social Care (HSC) systems, thus, there are recommendations that HL should be prioritized and integratedinto educational curricula of the training of HSC professionals to close the existing skills gap in this field. On the otherhand, dementia has been stated as a rapidly growing public health problem and its risk reduction is one of the sevenaction areas in the WHO Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia. Poor HL is a likely risk factor ofdementia since Persons at Risk of Dementia (PaRD) with low HL level have been reported to have a significantly higherrisk of dementia and faster decline in cognitive function over time. The Skills4HL project aims at meeting the needs ofHigher Education Institutions (HEI) to reduce skills gaps of HSC professionals to promote HL capacity-building whensupporting PaRD with the aim to deliver personalized and relevant interventions. In this context, HEIs are demandingtools to develop their curricula in HL to increase the competitiveness and relevancy of their HSC educational programs aswell as to promote the coordination and integration with European HEIs. Moreover, Skills4HL supports the digitaltransformation of HEIs education to provide learners with innovative learning practices and lecturers with digitalpedagogy capacities through the use of accessible digital technologies and contents adapted to the requirements of thelearners. The primary target group of Skills4HL comprise the potential and working HSC professionals wanting to buildHL capacity. These students lack certain HL skills and knowledge that impede them to provide adequate support toPaRD. Skills4HL will allow these students to cover the existing gaps and mismatches building their capacity through aninnovative approach and improving the quality of the support provided to PaRD. Thus, the project will improve theprofessional development, the access to the HSC labour market and career of the learners. Other target groups are thelecturers of the HEIs partners as well as the HSC stakeholders dedicated to PaRD and dementia support (HSC providersand companies, governments and local, national and European level authorities, NGOs and associations, citizens andrelatives of PaRD, etc.). In the case of lecturers, Skills4HL will reinforce their pedagogic capabilities using digital solutionsas well as to improve their capacity-building about HL in a PaRD support scenario. Finally, HSC stakeholders’ needsabout tackling the HL as a public health issue will be addressed through a powerful dissemination campaign of the projectresults.
Effective start/end date01/01/2201/01/25


  • disease, health science and nursing