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Effects of a Patient Directed Web-portal to Improve Health Literacy Skills (PREP)

This study has been completed.
University of Oslo
Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences Identifier:
First received: December 23, 2010
Last updated: December 2, 2014
Last verified: December 2010

Access to the best available evidence, and the ability to obtain and understand such information is seen as necessary to protect the public's interests and critical to empowerment, but is also a precondition for participation in the decision making.

A web portal serving as a generic (non disease- specific) tailored tool was developed in the conceptual framework of shared decision making and evidence based practice to improve the lay- public's critical and social literacy skills and activation. A randomized controlled parallel trial using a simple randomization procedure will be conducted, including 200 parents of children <4 with internet access. Parents will be allocated to receive either the portal or no intervention. Primary and secondary outcomes include: the ability to find research based information, critical appraisal skills, perceived behavioural control, attitudes and perceived pressure associated with searching for information, and participation.

Condition Intervention
Health Behavior
Behavioral: Portal

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Effects of a Patient Directed Web-portal to Improve Health Literacy Skills

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Changes in predictors of search and use of health information [ Time Frame: Week 3 ]
    Based on the theory of planned behavioral manual a questionnaire has been developed and validated in order to explore what predictors (efficacy, attitudes and perceived pressure) to search and use of health infomration.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • The ability to find reliable answers to a health question [ Time Frame: Week 1 ]
    Participants will be asked to formulate a (health) question and to find information that can answer this question. The participants will be asked to copy and paste the internet link to the information they found.The outcome will be evaluated pragmatically by categorizing the information as based on: 1. research or 2. expert advice/ other. The information will be categorized blindly by two independent researchers. The direction of effect is expected to be positive, in that more participants will find research based information than those in the control group.

  • Critical appraisal of health information [ Time Frame: Week 2 ]
    Participants will be asked to rate a piece of health information about childhood vaccination using DISCERNs item number 16. DISCERN is an instrument designed to judge the quality of written information about treatment choices. The mean value rating of the information will be measured against a "standard" rating made by experts on the same information. The direction of effect is predicted to be positive, in that the mean overall score of the intervention group will be closer to the standard than the control group.

  • Participation (activation) [ Time Frame: Week 3 ]
    The patient activation measure (PAM) has been developed to measure activation. The instrument includes 4 domains; believing the patient role is important, having confidence and knowledge necessary to taking action, actually taking action to improve one's health, and staying the course under stress.

  • Satisfaction with portal [ Time Frame: Week 3 ]
    We will also ask participants to comment on satisfaction with the portal after the other data collection has been submitted. This will be done based on the Honeycomb criteria which were also used in the qualitative evaluation. The honeycomb model is a well-renowned and much used instrument to measure user experience

Enrollment: 96
Study Start Date: March 2011
Study Completion Date: July 2011
Primary Completion Date: July 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Portal arm Behavioral: Portal

The portal was tailored to improve the lay public's' "healthy skepticism", or in other words, critical and social literacy skills to assist patients in the decision-making process and for improving access to health information and participation. Illustrated by typical examples which can be found in the news and through patient stories, the portal provides an introduction to research methods, the underlying principles of science and critical assessment tools appropriate for a lay public.

  1. A checklist for critical assessment of health information
  2. Access to research databases for health information and an introduction to research methods and principles of science
  3. A checklist to the consultation
No Intervention: Treatment as usal


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Parents of children age <4 will be recruited with access to internet.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participants will be excluded if one other in the household already participates in the study (due to spill-over effect) and if they do not have children <4.
  • Since the recruitment will be done online, there is no need to screen for access to internet.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01266798

Oslo University College, Faculty of Nursing
Oslo, Norway, 0130
Sponsors and Collaborators
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
University of Oslo
Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
Study Director: Sølvi Helseth, Professor Oslo University College
Study Director: Arild Bjørndal, Professor Oslo university
Principal Investigator: Astrid Austvoll-Dahlgren, MA Oslo University College
  More Information

Additional Information:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences Identifier: NCT01266798     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: REK S-07414b [1.2007.2076]
Study First Received: December 23, 2010
Last Updated: December 2, 2014

Keywords provided by Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences:
Health literacy, participation processed this record on May 23, 2017