Skills4 Health Literacy

The Skills4HL project aims at meeting the needs of Higher Education Institutions to reduce skills gaps of health and social professionals to promote health literacy capacity-building when supporting persons at risk of dementia with the aim to deliver personalized and relevant interventions.

Funded through Erasmus+ EU Programme for education, training, youth and sport, Call 2021, Action Type KA220-HED - Cooperation partnerships in higher education, SKILLS4HL aims to meet the needs of higher education institutions in training their future and current health and social care professionals, through digital education technologies, to promote health literacy capacity-building when supporting persons at risk of dementia to deliver relevant and personalized interventions.

Organisations participating in the project are

  • Karolinska Institutet (coordinator), Sweden
  • Seinäjoen Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Finland
  • Professionshojskolen University College Nordjylland, Denmark
  • Universitetet i Tromsoe - Norges Arktiske Universitet, Norway
  • Global Health Literacy Academy, Denmark
Skills 4 Health Litery, kick-off meeting via Zoom in February 2022.

Specific objectives of the project

  • To improve the understanding of the needed specific knowledge, skills and abilities that the health and social care sectors demand from their professionals to promote and/or improve health literacy when supporting persons at risk of dementia. (WP2 output: Development of competence profiles for Health and Social Care professionals to promote health literacy when supporting persons at risk of dementia)
  • To strengthen the strategic and structured cooperation of higher education institutions partners in health literacy education to develop a learning-outcomes-oriented curriculum and educational contents. (WP3 output: A thematic curriculum of health literacy with course descriptions)
  • To increase the use of innovative and accessible digital technologies, to generate open education resources for skills development about health literacy of health and social professionals and build digital pedagogy capacities of lecturers. (WP4 output: e-learning platform and Open Educational Resources to deliver the designed curriculum)


Health Literacy is defined by the World Health Organization as “the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health”. Poor health literacy has numerous negative consequences, ranging from negative health behavior (higher disease risk, decreased self-care skills) to misuse of health care. The promotion of health literacy is an important task of public Health and Social Care systems, thus, there are recommendations that health literacy should be prioritized and integrated into educational curricula of the training of HSC professionals to close the existing skills gap in this field. On the other hand, dementia has been stated as a rapidly growing public health problem and its risk reduction is one of the seven action areas in the WHO Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia. Poor health literacy is a likely risk factor of dementia since Persons at Risk of Dementia with low health literacy level have been reported to have a significantly higher risk of dementia and faster decline in cognitive function over time.

The primary target group of Skills4HL comprise the potential and working health and social professionals wanting to build health literacy capacity. These students lack certain health literacy skills and knowledge that impede them to provide adequate support to persons at risk of dementia. Skills4HL will allow these students to cover the existing gaps and mismatches building their capacity through an innovative approach and improving the quality of the support provided to persons at risk of dementia. Thus, the project will improve the professional development, the access to the health and social labour market and career of the learners. Other target groups are the lecturers of the higher education institutions partners as well as the health and social stakeholders dedicated to persons at risk of dementia and dementia support (health and social providers and companies, governments and local, national and European level authorities, NGOs and associations, citizens and relatives of persons at risk of dementia, etc.). In the case of lecturers, Skills4HL will reinforce their pedagogic capabilities using digital solutions as well as to improve their capacity-building about health literacy in a person at risk of dementia support scenario. Finally, health and social stakeholders’ needs about tackling the health literacy as a public health issue will be addressed through a powerful dissemination campaign of the project results.


MOOC course: Talking about health with older adults

An introductory course on health literacy and dementia aimed at health and social care professionals working with older adults.

The course is conducted online in English, lasts 5 weeks, has a study rate of 10-15h/week and the participant decides when during the week the studies are carried out.

A certificate of participation in the course is given after completion of the course and mandatory tasks have been approved.

For more information on the course and registration, see the attached flyer below.

Flyer – MOOC course: Talking about health with older adults

Meet our team


Karolinska Institutet (KI), Sweden

Universitetet i Tromsoe - Norges Arktiske Universitet (UiT), Norway

Bodil Hansen Blix


Astrid Gramstad

Associate professor/Vice-Dean education

Professionshojskolen University College Nordjylland (UCN), Denmark

Diana Schack Thoft

Research Manager, Docent, Associate professor, MNSc, RN, Dr.

Annette Pedersen

Associate professor, MA, RN, Dr.

Lisa Korsbakke Emtekær Hæsum

Assistant professor, Post doc, M. Sc. in Medicine with Industrial Specialization, RN, Dr.

Seinäjoen Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy (SeAMK), Finland

Katri Turunen

PhD, Principal lecturer

Virpi Salo

MSc, MA (educ.), Senior Lecturer

Merja Hoffrén-Mikkola

PhD, Principal Lecturer

Global Health Literacy Academy, Denmark

Kristine Sörensen

Content reviewer:
Annika Clemes