Learning about information literacy at ECIL and participating ASIST

The European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) took place at Prague, Czech Republic at 10.-13.10.2016. Straight after ECIL the Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) gathered researchers all around the world to Copenhagen, Denmark. Timing of the conferences provided me a great opportunity to join both of the conferences.

ECIL is initiated and organized by the Department of Information Management of Hacettepe University and Department of Information and Communication Sciences of Zagreb University. The main theme this year was Information Literacy in the Inclusive Society. IMG_9144_ECIL_blogiin

The keynote speeches were given by Tara Brabazon and Jan Van Dijk, and futhermore, invited speakers were Ole Pilerot, Vít Šisler and Annemaree Lloyd. Especially the keynote speeches raised discussion as Tara was intentionally very provocative in her speech and Jan´s perspective was from outside of the information and library science field.

As a member of the HIBA project I presented some of our results relating to older adults health information literacy skills. The study presented was part of the GASEL study.

WP_20161010_17_44_11_Pro_blogiin Heidi

Heidi´s PechaKucha presentation on “everyday health information literacy of older people in Finland”.

ECIL focused strongly on libraries and information literacy teaching, but there was always also a more theoretical and/or general paper or panel sessions to attend for.

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Example of the interesting panel discussions in ECIL.

The abstract book of ECIL can be found here: http://ecil2016.ilconf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ECIL2016_BoA.pdf and selected full text papers will be later published in a ECIL’s Proceedings Books are  published by Springer (agreement with the publisher is on yearly basis) under Communications in Computer and Information Science series (CCIS).

ASIST´s theme was Creating Knowledge, Enhancing Lives through Information & Technology. Plenary speeches were given by Greg Welch from University of Central Florida and by Markus Bundschus from Roche Diagnostics.

The topics of ASIST presentations and panels covered all from health information behaviour to digital data curation and the science of games. In addition to sessions relating to information behaviour I found myself listening sessions about e.g., multiculturalism of LIS education, digital sociology and information science research, open peer review and lifelogging. Examples of the panels in ASIST: IMG_9862_ASIST blogiinIMG_9811_ASIST blogiin

ASIST included not only paper presentations and panels but also several poster presentations. Again I was there presenting the results relating HIBA and GASEL projects. This time the topic was “opinions and use of mobile information technology around older people”.

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Heidi with the poster.

The ASIST proceedings and information of the previous conferences can be found here (free view for ASIST members): https://www.asist.org/publications/annual-meeting-proceedings/

Older people were present also in the street view of Copenhagen with a campaign “Do we ever stop dreaming?”


Next ECIL will be organized in St-Malo, France and next ASIST at Washington DC. Shall we meet there?

(Post blog written by Heidi Enwald)

Focus on health information behaviour


Heidi, Noora and Isto from HIBA participated in this year’s ISIC – The Information Behaviour Conference in Zadar, Croatia. Also Anna-Maija who worked in the project in autumn 2015 was with us in Zadar.

Heidi Enwald, foto: Mate Juric

Heidi reported findings from an earlier GASEL project in a paper titled Health information behaviour, attitudes towards health information and motivating factors for physical activity among older people: differences by sex and age together with coauthors, Noora  and her coauthors presented a poster Validating the factorial structure of the everyday health information literacy screening tool in three different populations, and we all from HIBA presented the project in a poster, imaginatively titled Taking health information behaviour into account in the development of e-health services.


Prof. Ian Ruthwen

There were also several other interesting papers relating directly to the themes of HIBA. Prof. Ian Ruthwen discussed in his opening keynote information behaviour during significant life events. The talk gave much food for thought as health related events are a major category of these types of major episodes in life but also because it is not always the case. Much of the everyday health and health information practices are not experienced as significant events that apparently also affects how we react to them and what kinds of information practices stem from these mundane events and how they differ from more significant episodes of life.

Of other interesting papers, you could mention the two other papers in Heidi’s session. Ina Fourie and Valerie Nesset reported of an exploratory review of research on cancer pain and information-related needs, and Theresa Anderson and Ina Fourie discussed about information interactions related to empathetic care for the dying.

Nordic eHealth 2016 The 21st Finnish National Conference on Telemedicine and eHealth

The participants of Scandinavian Nordic eHealth 2016 conference and the seminar of Finnish Society of Telemedicine and Health cruised onboard of M/S Mariella on the Baltic Sea at 14th to 16th of April 2016.

Finnish Society of Telemedicine and eHealth has been promoting the use of information and communication technology in health care since 1995. This year’s conference theme was digitalisation and experimentation culture that describes quite well ongoing

transformation where digitalisation is challenging health services.
The conference lectures covered topics from EU’s eHealth strategy, and presents the Nordic case studies on the development of digital services.

Head of Unit Tapani Piha, Cross-Border Healthcare & eHealth, EU

The future of Finnish My Kanta and personal health record were introduced.
Delegates of Iceland and Norway enlightened us about the eHealth services and telehealth development in these countries. From the researchers perspective it was also a pleasure to hear about examples of the research done relating to the topic.



Example of the research done at Norway.

In Sweden a large study had been conducted relating to attitudes and opinions on the electronic health record for citizens.
Nordic countries are not alone in struggling with the challenges of eHealth and telemedicine. The seminar participants were told about the eHealth group, established by The Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM), in 2010 for knowledge transfer between the Nordic countries and Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland, to strengthen the Nordic global leadership position in the eHealth area and to raise awareness of eHealth as an instrument for modernisation of the health care systems. In 2012, the eHealth group established a subgroup – The Nordic eHealth Research Network (NeRN) – to develop, test and access a common set of indicators for monitoring eHealth in the region to be used by policy makers and scientific communities in supporting development of Nordic Welfare. The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) was selected as a coordinator of the network.

Hannele Hyppönen from THL

On the second day of the conference Finnish healthcare projects and companies had their change to present themselves. The conference also included poster sessions, time for social interaction and healthcare-related site visits at Stockholm.

In the poster session also posters of the GASEL-project were presented.

At the conference several awards were delivered. The Finnish National eHealth award was given to PhD Teija Norri-Sederholm for her doctoral thesis “On top of the situation! From information needs to shared knowledge – Emergency response centre operator’s and paramedic field supervisor’s situational awareness”. The work has received a lot of positive media coverage, but it also works well as a reference material for example in the training of emergency response centre operators.

eServices for healthy ageing – GASEL study: final seminar

I have been working as a researcher in multidisciplinary GASEL study (http://www.oulu.fi/gasel/gasel) funded by Tekes in 2014-2016. The project is ending and its final seminar was organized at 9th Feb 2016 in Oulu, Finland. The topic was eServices for healthy ageing.

In the beginning of the seminar the vice leader of GASEL Timo Jämsä and responsible leader Raija Korpelainen introduced the GASEL project and also other research activities among older people in Oulu. At GASEL, information on e.g., special needs of older people and aspects relating to their health have been mapped from existing knowledge (collected at http://www.oulu.fi/gasel/esiselvitys) and by a population-based questionnaire survey. The questionnaire was posted to 1500 people aged 65 or more, living in Oulu area and being home dwellers. The return rate was 61 percent (n=918).

GASEL study

The questionnaire included questions relating to attitudes towards health information, health information literacy, personality, life satisfaction, use of exercise technology, fracture and fall history, medications, sleep, social environment, nature relationship, use of information technology, gaming etc. One important issue was physical activity. It is generally known that physical activity has positive effect on health, wellness, ability for independent living, and physical functioning.

At the seminar, project manager Maarit Kangas told us about factors and actors associated with wellbeing of senior citizens. For example, 50 percent of the survey respondents stated that they were moving around more than 2 h/day. From them 45 percent stated being in at least good health and 79 percent stated feeling happy or quite happy.

Researcher Niina Keränen spoke about ICT use and gaming of older people. According to the GASEL survey seniors play games, including digital games. Stigma against gaming in older age was not a major issue for the seniors of GASEL study.

Researcher Milla Immonen shared preliminary results relating to falls and nutrition. Falls are a major problem in western societies and the reasons behind falls are multifactorial. Nutrition is not commonly taken into account in fall prevention (e.g., in interventions), even though naturally nutrition (e.g., malnutrition) affects our wellbeing.  However, according to the results of GASEL study there is a clear connection between falls and nutrition.

Posters presenting results from GASEL study

Posters presenting results from GASEL study

GASEL is a funded by Tekes and therefore erterprises are involved. At the seminar researcher Heidi Similä told about the participatory testing of enterprises products and services. Testing had been done by conducting workshops, focus group evaluation, testing events and expert evaluation. By the means of testing, information about the target groups’ needs and attitudes towards technology, and about issues related to usability and acceptability of new technologies has been collected.

At the seminar my presentation focused on how tailoring can be used in eHealth services and on what kind of results were found in GASEL survey relating to older people´s health information behaviour and attitudes towards health information. Information content of eHealth services and also interface and elements of service can be tailored. Through (computer) tailoring different kind of individuals are provided with different kind of content or elements. E.g., person´s health information literacy level, measured with a short questionaire while logging to the eHealth service, could be used as a basis for tailoring. It would impact on what kind of information, and in what form, would the service provide to the person. The preliminary result of GASEL survey indicate, for example, that men are more likely to consider that health related stories and articles are too long and that Individuals in the oldest age group (80 years or older) are most likely to avoid thinking about exercise.

We had a privilege to hear also two presentations from the collaborators of GASEL study. Professor Lars Nyberg and Margareta Lilja from Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, gave a presentation titled ”Active and safe in old age: postural control and home and social environment issues”. And we ended with a presentation by Mika Luimula from Turku University of Applied Sciences. He told us about their interesting Tekes-funded Gamified Solutions in Healthcare –project.

Nyberg, Lilja and Korpelainen

Lars Nyberg, Margareta Lilja and Raija Korpelainen


Mika Luimula

HIBA continues the work done in GASEL study focusing on users of eHealth services from the viewpoint of Information Studies.

Blog post by Heidi Enwald, researcher in GASEL study and in HIBA project.