Rauemi Atawhai – A guide to developing health education resources in New Zealand has been developed to help the Ministry of Health and its contractors produce effective and appropriate health education resources that meet the needs of the intended audience, are easy to understand, and support improved health literacy.
The guide sets out the main steps of developing a health education resource. For ease of use, the guide is in three sections that can be printed and used separately.
Section 1 (10 pages) has background information with guiding principles for developing a health education resource and matters to consider in that process – such as health literacy, cultural relevance, resource type and accessibility, and consumer and expert input.
- Be prepared
- Be clear on your audience and your key messages.
- Be open
- Be relationship focused
- Be accountable
- Test, test and test again with your audience and stakeholders.
Section 2 (10 pages) contains a flow diagram and bullet point notes detailing eight stages in the development of a resource.
The eight stages involved in producing a health education resource:
- Need – Research the need for a resource, identify similar existing resource, define the audience
- Audience – Talk with the audience about what they need, like, want.
- Health literacy – Identify the health literacy demands of the audience
- Resource scope – Finalise the purpose, form and success factors of the resource to be developed
- Draft and test – Get experts and the audience involved in drafting and giving feedback on the resource until it’s right
- Publish and distribute
- Evaluate – Assess the resource’s effectiveness with the audience
- Learn – What to do next time
Section 3 has appendices, the first of which (6 pages) is a checklist of the language, design and illustration components involved in the resource production.
Effective health education resources may contribute to the protection of patient safety, improved health outcomes, and the empowerment of individuals and whānau to increase control over their health and wellbeing through increasing health literacy levels. As indicated in Rauemi Atawhai, a person with a good level of health literacy is able to find, understand and evaluate health information and services easily in order to make effective health decisions.