A new resource to help young people with long-term illnesses make the transition into adult health services, developed in Trinity’s School of Nursing and Midwifery has recently won an award for Best Project in a Hospital at the 2014 Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards.
The website, SteppingUp.ie which was funded by the Health Research Board, was developed by researchers in Trinity's School of Nursing and Midwifery, in partnership with young people with long-term illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis, Type 1 diabetes and congenital heart disease. SteppingUp.ie offers video testimonials, downloadable stories and tips and information on managing the transition, becoming more independent, knowing about medications and the differences between child and adult services.
The five major winning projects at the Health Literacy Awards were selected from over 130 entries which had to demonstrate how they addressed the issue of health literacy in a practical and patient-friendly way. The organisers commented that the judges were really impressed by the novel approach the shortlisted projects took to incorporate health literacy into their daily work.
Professor Imelda Coyne, lead researcher for the SteppingUP.ie project and Professor in Children's Nursing at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity said: "This website is the first of its kind and we hope that it will be useful for young people who are thinking about and planning to make the transition to adult services. We knew from interviews with young people, as part of other HRB-funded research that young people moving from child to adult health services wanted advice, information, support and signposting in relation to their transition and they felt they encountered obstacles to having these needs met. SteppingUP.ie is one way of helping equip young people with knowledge and skills so that the move to adult services is made a bit easier."
The project team adopted a participatory approach viewing the young people, with long-term illnesses, as a central element in the design and development of the site and its content. Young people took part in participatory workshops, one-to-one interviews and video recordings and were part of a co-design group.