eHealth Literacy skills among carers of older people and people with dementia: the pilot phase in the Cyprus Setting

The piloting phase of the European research project ERASMUS+ eLILY was completed at ‘Parthenonas’ corporation, in Latsia, Nicosia on Saturday 15th of February 2020. The pilot phase aimed to provide a face to face educational program to carers of older people and people with dementia in order to assist them in finding valid health information on the internet, understanding the content of this information, evaluating it, and applying it effectively to their provided care. The interest of people in participating in the training was high. However, nine carers of older people and people with dementia were selected to participate according to eligibility criteria.

The training consisted of four modules. In module one, the concept of health literacy was presented. Carers had the opportunity to learn basic communication skills and how to use them in their communication with health care professionals. The main topic of module two was the concept of digital literacy and basic digital skills. In this module, carers were introduced in the use of mobile devices and how to use them to search the internet, maintaining their privacy and security. In module three, eHealth Literacy was introduced, and the knowledge and skills on how to search, find and evaluate health information on the internet were introduced. Finally, in module four, carers learned how they could use social media, such as Facebook and Viber, to get involved in forums and groups which were related to their health issue. This, helped them to enhance their support group and stay informed on news and events which may of interest.

During the training, carers seemed to enjoy the practical exercises of each module, and they expressed their thoughts and concerns in relation with their caregiving role. At the end of the training, carers had the opportunity to assess the quality of the training program and express their personal views. The results showed that carers were very satisfied with the training. Their health literacy and eHealth literacy levels were increased.

The final aim of the research project and our next steps are to use the information derived from the face to face training in order to develop a web-based educational program for eHealth literacy. The research program is estimated to be completed in September 2020.

It is worth noting that five European countries participate in this research project: Poland, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, and Italy. Cyprus is represented by the research team of the Department of Nursing of the Cyprus University of Technology. The research team is consisted by the scientific coordinator, Associate Professor, Dr Evridiki Papastavrou, and the researchers, Dr Areti Efthymiou, Dr Antonis Stylianides, and the doctoral student, Ms Ioanna Menikou. More information about the research project can be found on the website

Finally, we would like to thank Latsia Municipality, and especially Mr Constantinos Michael, for their support in the implementation of the pilot phase’s training.