Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Interdisciplinary Centre
for Health Literacy

Health literacy of vulnerable populations

10/2013 bis 2016

Project management and implementation
Prof. Dr. Doris Schaeffer, Dr. Gudrun Quenzel

Project collaborator
Melanie Messer (bis 12/2015)

Projects funding
State Centre for Health North Rhine-Westphalia

Older people, people with a migration background and younger people with a low educational and social status are exposed to particular health risks. At the same time, they run the risk of not receiving necessary care services or receiving them inadequately. Strengthening their competence in such a way that they can successfully engage in maintaining their health and providing care that meets their needs has therefore become an increasingly important task, which is particularly essential for vulnerable groups. However, there is a lack of differentiated empirical data to tackle this task and develop targeted interventions.

The project therefore aims to survey the health literacy of vulnerable groups in NRW in a cross-sectional survey. The survey is based on the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU), which has been expanded to include target group-specific aspects. Approximately 1,000 people were used for the sample. Half of the sample is made up of young people between 15 and 25 years of age who, as the highest level of education, have at most a lower secondary school leaving certificate. Older people over the age of 65 make up the other half. In both groups, the survey of people with a migration background was also of particular importance.

The results of the analysis deepen the knowledge of the health literacy of vulnerable groups and form an important basis for the development of tailored, target group-specific prevention and intervention programmes.


Further current publications can be found in our

New publication:
Health Literacy - Forschungsstand und Perspektiven
herausgegeben von Doris Schaeffer und Jürgen Pelikan