The aim of the LISA cohort study (Estudo Longitudinal de Literacia em Saúde no Concelho de Leiria) is to monitor the levels of health literacy of the population of the municipality of Leiria over 10 years, through a survey conducted by a group of selected interviewers. In the conception of this study, several entities were involved such as ACES Pinhal Litoral, CiTechCare, City Hall of Leiria, Hospital Centre of Leiria, and LIDA/ESAD.CR.
The idea for LISA arose from the identification of a problem in the health habits of the population of the Municipality of Leiria, combined with the suspicion of a high level of comorbidities in the region. These factors brought to light the possibility of the population’s low health literacy level. The initial steps for this cohort study were taken by researchers (CiTechCare), public health doctors (ACES Pinhal Litoral), and public servants (City Hall of Leiria). Later the multidisciplinary team was complemented by nurses and doctors (Hospital Centre of Leiria) and designers (LIDA/ESAD.CR).
During the involvement of the designers in this study, they focused on User-Centred Design, supported by Service Design methodologies, through” Usability Testing”, “Interviews”, “Personas” and “Workshops” with “Service Blueprint”, to understand the common concerns of cohort studies and how best to solve them. As part of a multidisciplinary team, the designers discovered the need to be involved in the project from the outset and that design methodologies could help the organisation of observational studies. In this case, the result was the development of a set of guidelines and communication materials for the study. These guidelines aimed to assist the multidisciplinary team in the capacitation of the interviewers (who would have direct contact with the population) and in the structuring of the study.
The communication materials had the objective to advertise the LISA cohort study to the population. They included logo, branding, websites, flyers, posters, roll-up outdoors, identification cards (for interviewers and for the study’s staff) and presentations (i.e. Public presentation of LISA in Aldeia da Saúde – 05.2022).
One of the designers’ goals was to validate the role of a Designer in Health and Wellbeing in this type of study and to further justify their presence in the early stages of any project since design methodologies can be applied to help in multiple areas.