The Ophelia Process

The Ophelia process enables meaningful engagement to understand and build on local knowledge and wisdom, as well as international evidence, to co-design, implement and evaluate health literacy actions that are accessible, sustainable, and useful for the people who need them. The process that extends from establishing what the health or equity problem is through to supporting health policy and scaling up fit-for-purpose solutions.

Phase 1 – Identify strengths, needs and action ideas (3 steps)

This phase of the Ophelia process on collecting local data. Ophelia typically involves the use of multi-dimensional health literacy or digital health literacy questionnaires – the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) and the eHealth Literacy Questionnaire (eHLQ) – to investigate the diverse health literacy strengths, needs and preferences of individuals and groups of people. In this way, the process uncovers who is being left behind and why services are not effective for them, as well as providing information about what to do next.

This phase will produce a detailed project and stakeholder engagement plan; needs assessment (including health literacy strengths and needs); and generate of ideas about ways to address health literacy (health and health equity) needs.

Phase 2 – Select, plan and test health literacy actions (3 steps)

Phase 2 prioritises and selects ideas for codesign of health literacy actions, plans health literacy actions, and tests and refines health literacy actions.

Health literacy actions arising from the Ophelia process don’t need to be expensive or resource intensive. Some small actions can make a big difference. For example, clinicians can ask their patients about their learning styles and education needs, and this can make an important difference for how patients engage in healthcare.

Phase 3 – Implement, evaluate and improve health literacy actions (2 steps)

Phase 3 implements and evaluates health literacy actions, and develops an ongoing quality improvement strategy.