Corine Meppelink defends her dissertation about health literacy and message design on May 12

Digital health information is widely available, especially on the Internet, but not everyone fully benefits from this information source due to limited health literacy. This is unfortunate, as people with limited health literacy are a vulnerable group that needs health information the most.

Until now, little was known about how health literacy influences information processing and how design features of digital health information can be used to create optimal health messages for different health literacy groups. This dissertation showed that processing health information is more difficult for people with limited health literacy resulting in lower information recall. Especially when information is complex, images and animations can be useful tools to help people visualize the message’s content and support understanding.

Furthermore, information that is suitable for people with limited health literacy appeared to be effective in adequate health literacy groups as well. Health communication professionals should therefore not be hesitant to apply these design features in their materials. Carefully designed health messages improve information processing in limited health literacy groups, resulting in a more knowledgeable population and better informed health decisions.

Link dissertation: click here

Published on: 29-04-2016