GefaS – Health professionals in schools

Today’s healthcare systems challenge people to make decisions regarding their health. In this context, the knowledge, motivation and competencies to access, understand, assess and apply the appropriate information are of high relevance. The underlying concept is defined as health literacy and is the requirement for making health-related decisions regarding appropriate care. Thus, health literacy is an important predictor of a person’s health status. In Germany, over one in two people has difficulty understanding health-related information. There is a correlation between limited health literacy and low social status.

The cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven are relevant locations for establishing programs to promote health literacy. In some city districts, inequalities are evident in living conditions and in terms of health and educational opportunities. To counteract these, the project “Health Professionals at Schools (GefaS)” has been implemented at Bremen and Bremerhaven elementary schools for some time. The goals of the current project include: strengthening the health resources of students, teachers and parents; creating a health-promoting school environment; increasing the school’s outreach to health-related services in the city district; and establishing and expanding network structures.

An in-process evaluation is often a central component of a complex intervention. The in-process evaluation of the project “GefaS” is funded by the SHI Alliance for Health and commissioned by the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) in the context of the evaluation of projects across different health insurance funds. The evaluation of “GefaS” will ascertain whether the underlying project has been successfully implemented and thus has the potential to be sustained to achieve long-term positive effects. Both qualitative and quantitative survey methods are used in a mixed methods approach. The focus is primarily on the evaluation of structures and processes. This includes, among other things, identifying the obstacles to project implementation at the schools, determining the factors that are beneficial to the implementation of the project, and assessing how the health professionals and the school staff and parents are cooperating with each other.