VISEGRAD FUND PROJECT
St. Elisabeth University of Public Health and Social Work
Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slovakia
Applicant: Vysoká škola zdravotníctva a sociálnej práce sv. Alžbety, Bratislava, Slovakia/St. Elisabeth University
Seat: Bratislava, SK
Project ID #/Title: 22130215, Multidimensional approach in ensuring healthy behaviour in V4 coutries.
Vysoká škola zdravotníctva a sociálnej práce sv. Alžbety, Bratislava, Slovakia
Organization name (English): St. Elisabeth University
Inštitút pre prevenciu a intervenciu
Project title: Multidimensional approach in ensuring healthy behaviour in V4 coutries.
Focus area/objective: Education and Capacity Building,Improved hard/soft skills for a better access to labor market; lifelong learning and internship programs
Is the project CBC? Cross-border filter
IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD: 20/01/2022–31/05/2023
Short description of the project:
The main goals of the project: 1. Increasing health literacy of the general public in the field of health promotion, diseases prevention, and lifestyle changes 2. Increase the motivation of individuals for a healthy lifestyle by developing hard and soft skills 3. To find out the impact of lifestyle changes on the health of individuals by measuring objective parameters 4. Research focused on lifestyle of the population of V4 and other participated coutries and on the impact of lifestyle changes on physical and psychical health.
PROJECT RELEVANCE AND CONTEXT
What is the main issue that your project would like to focus on? What is the current situation that you wish to change?
Behaviour, the product of individual or collective action, is a key determinant of people’s health. Lifestyle risk factors are now recognised as leading contributors to morbidity and mortality in Europe. Smoking, lack of physical exercise, high calorie intake and excessive alcohol consumption leading to obesity, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure are precursors of chronical diseases. There is convincing evidence that a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, a balanced diet, blood pressure control and smoking abstinence is associated with a longer and healthier life span.. Behaviour change is generally best served by a mix of interventions, delivered over a long period of time and modified in response to measured impact. Combining skill development using not only hard, but more focused on soft skills with underlying, intrinsic motivation and reason, is believed essential for lasting change. Current situation: Citizens in V4 countries have shorter life expectancy and worse health status than people in other EU countries. Adding years to life and life to years can be achieved by fostering healthier ways of life, reducing health inequalities and promoting healthy lifestyles. In the V4, however, the health literacy is relatively low We wish to change: 1. Increase public health literacy 2. Motivate individuals to behave healthily through a comprehensive and professional approach by increasing soft and hard skills 3. Improve the health of individuals by adjusting lifestyles
What should be done to address this issue/problem? How does your project contribute to the solution?
By educating the general public in the form of webinars and consulting activities, we will contribute to improving public health soft and hard skills to motivate people to „behave healthily“. Following should be done: Organization of webinars: planning, addressing experts, addressing participants Creating of the web site: presentations of experts, downloadable materials, articles, videos, communication with the public, research questionnaires Inviting participants to participate in research Selection of candidates for consulting activities: The project will also serve personnel consulting activities to verify the effectiveness of education and improve skills in the field of healthy behavior. By measuring biochemical indicators, anthropometric parameters and body composition (using the InBody analyzer), it will be possible to compare the health status of individuals before and after the intervention at monthly intervals. Simultaneous control and motivation will take place online 6. Research design - Scientific research will focus on the lifestyle and risk factors of the selected population in the V4 countries. The intervention should lead to a decrease in blood pressure, glycaemia, weight, fat mass, cholesterol and to an increase in physical activity, muscle mass, fitness and a healthier diet, and possibly to the elimination of smoking and alcohol consumption. 7. processing and promotion of research results
What added value does your project bring to the already existing practices? What is the innovative element in your proposal?
1. increased health literacy of the general public: Individuals without health literacy are able to search for information, but they cannot understand or interpret it correctly. 2. broad dissemination of scientific and up to date informations to the public by experts: To be able to make an informed decision, individuals must continuously recieve science-based information and practical advice based on good practice 3. a comprehensive approach improves adherence to long-term lifestyle changes - training dark and soft skills: Combining skill development with underlying, intrinsic motivation and reason, is believed essential for lasting change. Intrinsic motivation does not rely on external pressure, like rewards/approval or punishment/disapproval from peers or health professionals.The individual must believe the behaviour is enjoyable or compatible with their ‘sense of self’, values and life goals. 4. verification of the effectiveness of the intervention by evaluating the health status of selected participants before and after the intervention 5. comparison of research results within V4 countries: Feedbacks and communication with the public is also important, which will increase the willingness to participate in research. Based on the willingness of the public to participate in research, it is possible to make significant outputs (research) focused on risk factors, taking into account their profession, profession, education, comorbidities, risk behavior, ...with the ability to compare data in V4 countries.
What is the regional relevance of your proposal?
Project will be implemented in close cooperation with medical and academical institutions in all V4 countries, which will provide experts (doctors and scientists) for the research, involving broad public of all countries. The experts will later work with the results of the research, broadly disseminated in all countries focusing on the priorities that were jointly defined by our partners, taking into account the data from the WHO Global Health Observatory Database.
How would you describe your organization’s experience in dealing with the proposed topic? Have you previously implemented similar projects?
St. Elisabeth University, as a non-profit organization, provides generally beneficial services in the field of education. The long-term goal is the education of health workers, especially in the field of public health and social work, nursing, physiotherapy, laboratory medicine for domestic, state, church, foreign Catholic facilities, state and church social work facilities and missions abroad. The university has established orphanages and hospitals, in 30 countries of the world, in Slovakia it takes care of marginalized groups, it has 106 accredited bachelor's, master's and PhD study programs. The Institute for Prevention and Intervention (IPI), which was set up as a support organization for the applicant, will raise public awareness of the importance and possibilities of prevention at various levels. Until now, the IPI has provided education to students, a new element of the project is the education of the general public with the aim of improving population health and increasing compliance in health promotion. IPI has experience in educating the public. For the last 3 years, we have organized an Open Day at the university not only for students and potential students of the university, but also for the general public. In addition to theoretical knowledge, participants also gained practical experience - good hand hygiene, first aid, communication. We also screened for chronic diseases - measuring blood pressure, blood glucose, the proportion of fat and muscle mass.
DISSEMINATION AND FOLLOW-UP
What activities will you carry out to share the results of the project outside your organization and partners?
The results of the project research will be continuously presented to the public during webinars. Outputs will be published nationally and internationally. The main output will be a foreign publication in English with the participation of all V4 partners. Each of the V4 partners can publish the results at home and abroad, which contributes to the publishing activities of its university. The results can also be communicated via public media. Overweight and obese patients monitored and consulted within the V4 project will disseminate information on the possibility of providing overweight and obesity management. Data from the V4 project can serve as background material for lifelong learning and also for professional institutions, including the Ministry of Health and possibly government institutions.
5.2 Do you plan any activities in the future which will build on the results of this project?
An important aspect of the project is its sustainability. Research has shown that people with higher education behave less risky, have a higher adherence to a healthy lifestyle and adhere to preventive measures. The aim of the project is not only to educate the public, but also to motivate the practical implementation of recommendations for practice. In the future we plan to continue the activities and cooperation and use the results of the research as a basis for the development of recommendations for public health practice. A new challenge is the establishment of an obesity management center according to EASO criteria in cooperation of V4 countries and with comprehensive approach and prior diagnosis of overweight and obese people in order to achieve the incidence of disease and premature mortality. We also plan to continue to increase health literacy online, but in the case of a favorable epidemiological situation also in person. We also plan to continue cooperation at the level of V4 universities by organizing conferences, carrying out research activities, exchanging experiences, enabling education for postgraduate students.