Effectiveness of a health literacy intervention based on transformative learning and incorporating positive psychology on health behavior and well-being of Thai families with NCDs risk

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  • Ungsinun Intarakamhang
    Behavioral Science Research Institute, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Ann Macaskill
    Centre for Behavioral Science and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom.


Background: Thailand has a higher global NCD mortality rate in comparison to the rest of the world, accounting for 75% and 71% of all deaths. WHO focused increasingly on health literacy (HL) in order to decrease NCDs. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of an HL intervention utilizing transformative learning and positive psychology with mindfulness training in terms of changing levels of HL, health behavior (HB), and health outcomes.

Design and Methods
: The study was a randomized control trial from May to September 2019.  The participants were a rural Thai population with low levels of HL, living in an area with high levels of NCDs. The 200 participants were cluster randomly allocated to an eight-week intervention, and the control group. The data were collected by Likert questionnaires and physical exams, and analyzed via ANOVA.

: The intervention group mean scores for HL, psychological capital, HB, and family well-being increased from baseline to post-intervention, but decreased during the follow-up but were still significantly higher than the control group and baseline scores. The increases in HL and HB were matched by improvements in physiological measurement. The BMI scores of the intervention group decreased in each phase, while the control group scores remained largely unchanged. An intervention group had significantly lower fasting blood sugar than the controls at the intervention and in the follow-up. There was no interaction between social support and any other variables.

: This program demonstrated improvements in HL, HB and the well-being of Thai families at risk of NCDs in rural communities.


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