Piloting the Informed Health Choices resources in Barcelona primary schools: A mixed methods study
2Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre (IbCC) - Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute (IIB-Sant Pau), Spain
3Escola Virolai, Barcelona, Spain, Spain
4Andalusian Health Service, Malaga, Spain, Spain
5Cancer Prevention and Control Programme, Catalan Institute of Oncology, IDIBELL, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain, Spain
6Paediatric Hospital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, Mexico, Mexico
7Centre for Informed Health Choices, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway, Norway
8Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, Spain
9Biodonostia Health Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology, San Sebastián, Spain, Spain
Background: The main objective of the Informed Health Choices (IHC) project is to teach people to assess treatment claims and make informed health choices. For this purpose, the IHC learning resources were developed for primary school children.
Objectives: The aim of this study is to explore students’ and teachers’ experiences when using the IHC resources in primary schools in Barcelona (Spain).
Methods: We conducted a mixed methods study for piloting the IHC resources in a convenience sample of primary schools in Barcelona. The intervention included a workshop with teachers and nine lessons with the students. We collected data using multiple approaches, including ad hoc questionnaires, non-participatory observations, and semi-structured interviews. We performed quantitative and qualitative analyses. Finally, we formulated recommendations for using the IHC resources in this setting.
Results: Two schools, with a total of 143 students in 4th and 5th grade (9 to 11-year-olds) and six teachers, participated in the study. One school followed the suggested IHC teaching plan and completed all the lessons; the other school modified the plan substantially and did not complete all the lessons. Overall, students and teachers from both schools understood, were interested in, and were able to apply the content of the lessons. During the lessons, students used the IHC resources (mainly the textbook), and teachers used them in a variable way. Teachers adapted the IHC resources to increase student participation and used Information and Communications Technologies to support their teaching. We observed more facilitators than barriers to teach the lessons. The teachers suggested some ideas to improve the lessons based on the activities they developed and implemented. We proposed seven recommendations for using the IHC resources in this setting.
Conclusions: It is feasible to use the IHC resources in Barcelona primary schools; however, these resources should be adapted to promote classroom participation. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: The IHC resources can empower children around the world to make well-informed health choices as adults.