Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Interdisciplinary Centre
for Health Literacy

förges 4:
Strengthening eHealth Literacy among older people

Digital change is now impacting all areas of life and society and is also increasingly becoming part of the healthcare sector. The digitalization of the health care system has led to a multitude of digital health applications in various forms and the way and access to digital health information has also changed. 90% of all German households have internet access and use internet-based applications for more than three hours a day. Older people are also showing a willingness to participate in the digitalization of their health and there is an increasing trend towards the use of digital services. However, specific skills are needed to find one's way in the digitalized health care system. These are summarized under the term 'eHealth Literacy'. eHealth Literacy can contribute to maintaining health, coping with chronic illness and has the potential to strengthen the autonomy and participation of the target population.

The aim of the project is

  1. to investigate how interventions to promote eHealth Literacy among older people with health impairments need have to be designed and to determine the specific characteristics that have to be considered,
  2. to develop and test an intervention to promote eHealth literacy among older people at risk of chronic diseases and care dependency..


  1. Performance of a systematic literature analysis to identify already existing international, evidence-based, multidimensional interventions and good practice examples aiming at strengthening eHealth literacy of older people.
  2. Empirical analysis of eHealth literacy among older people and their needs concerning a training provision (focus groups and quantitative data collection).
  3. Conception of an intervention to promote eHealth Literacy in the target population.
  4. Testing and validation of the intervention.
This project is part of the research network förges.

Project management and coordination
Prof. Dr. Doris Schaeffer, Dr. Annett Horn

Project team
Nina Lüke, Lara Sommer

Project partner
Arbeiterwohlfahrt Kreisverband e. V. Bielefeld (Workers' Welfare Association, district chapter Bielefeld (AWO))

04/2018 bis 03/2021

Project funding


Coronavirus pandemic and health literacy: The coronavirus is currently spreading worldwide. During this pandemic, health literacy must be given special emphasis in order to prevent the new virus from spreading more rapidly. Further information can be found here.

COVID-19 and Infodemic: The COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by the so-called "Infodemic" (Infodemic). Finding good information, protecting oneself from fake news and untruths and making sensible health decisions in these crises are the main focus. Further information can be found here.

Interview Children's health literacy: Children and young people are an important target group for the promotion of health literacy. However, little research has been done into this area. The Pharmazeutische Zeitung spoke to Orkan Okan of the ICHL about the current situation in Germany. Further information can be found here.

Development of a WHO European Region action plan on health literacy: In February, WHO Europe launched an initiative in Copenhagen to develop a European action plan to promote and strengthen health literacy for the 53 European Member States. Further information can be found here.

Health literacy in the digital age: This was the motto of a conference in Berlin on 04.02.2020. Link

4. HLCA Summer School: "Advancing health literacy during the life course: towards a health literate Europe" takes place at Bielefeld University from 23 to 27 September 2019. Link

Research Symposium: On 2.09.2019 the Research Symposium with the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) will take place at Bielefeld University (Room X-E0-222)

Patricia Wahl (Graf), Alexandra Fretian and Ullrich Bauer report on the topic of "Psychische Erkrankung im Alltag: Tabuisierung und Stigmatisierung" in the youth welfare report 02.19

IGEL Evaluation - Ergebnisse: Effectiveness of a school-based intervention to prevent child sexual abuse (Czerwinski et al.) Download

Die Utopie der Gene: Ullrich Bauer on the influence of genes in DIE ZEIT. Download Download

Ullrich Bauer bei der Child's World Conference (11.-13. Juli 2018). Learning, education and the ethical question of what we offer to pupils. Download

The EUSPR Newsletter The EUSPR Newsletter gives an overview of the German Health Prevention Network.

New article in the Archive of Public Health - Journal, by Domanska, O.M., Firnges, C., Bollweg, T.M. et al. Download

Ullrich Bauer's review of "Stimmungen der Soziologie" als short version and long version

New publications

International Handbook of health literacy
Handbuch Sozialisationsforschung
Präevention von sexueller Gewalt in der Primarstufe
Psychisch belastete Eltern in der sozialpädagogischen Familienhilfe
 Children in times of crisis