Background: low health literacy is associated with poor health-related knowledge, illness self-management, health service use, health, and survival, and thus addressing issues related to low health literacy has been highlighted as a pressing international priority.
Objective: to explore views of a digital health promotion intervention designed to be accessible to people with lower levels of health literacy, in particular examining reactions to the interactive and audiovisual elements of the intervention.
Methods: qualitative think-aloud interviews were carried out with 65 adults with type 2 diabetes in the UK, Ireland, USA, Germany, and Austria, with purposive sampling to ensure representation of people with lower levels of health literacy. Inductive thematic analysis was used to identify common themes. We then systematically compared views in subgroups based on country, health literacy level, age, gender, and time since diagnosis.
Results: most participants from the chosen countries expressed positive views of most elements and features of the intervention. Some interactive and audiovisual elements required modification to increase their usability and perceived credibility and relevance. There were some differences in views based on age and gender, but very few differences relating to health literacy level or time since diagnosis.
Conclusion: in general, participants found the intervention content and format accessible, appropriate, engaging, and motivating. Digital interventions can and should be designed to be accessible and engaging for people with a wide range of health literacy levels