The MUSKHEL project will respond to the need of increased knowledge of musculoskeletal health literacy in adolescents and consists of three sub-studies: a scoping review, a cross-sectional study and a qualitative interview study.
The overarching aim of the MUSKHEL project is to address musculoskeletal health literacy in adolescents. Musculoskeletal disorders are responsible for a substantial disability burden over the life course and consumes considerable healthcare services. Long-term health and well-being are shown to be closely linked with the level of education and literacy.
Health literacy is described as the individuals’ motivation and ability to access, understand, appraise and apply health information in ways which promote and maintain good health. Health promoting attitudes, beliefs and behaviors emerge in early life phases.
Thus, addressing health literacy related to musculoskeletal health disorders from an early age may be a promising investment in the health and well-being in adolescence as well as later in life.
Health literacy among adolescents is a relatively new field of research with limited previous evidence, and health literacy related to musculoskeletal disorders even more so. In order to target adolescents’ musculoskeletal health literacy efficiently through school-based initiatives, it is important first to identify their health literacy strengths and limitations.
The planned project will answer to this knowledge gap by providing information that is imperative for development of standardized research-based interventions, but also have immediate value to practicing school physiotherapists through increasing their understanding of adolescents’ musculoskeletal health literacy.
The objective of the study is to
- review the extent, range and nature of research on musculoskeletal disorders and health literacy among adolescents
- investigate the associations between musculoskeletal disorders and health literacy among adolescents aged 15-16 years
- explore how adolescents find, understand and evaluate health information related to musculoskeletal disorders, and how they translate this information to give meaning in their own lives